They look out for open plots, create documents, bribe authorities, engage lawyers in advance to face the police and even hire musclemen.

Welcome to the world of organised land mafia gangs operating in Cyberabad. Some of them are run by individuals while others are headed by groups well-connected to politicians and officials. So organised is the land mafia in the capital that the Madhapur police were jolted when they found four advocates inside their station within minutes of nabbing an alleged land-grabber B. Ravindra.

“We were looking out for him for over 10 days and went to his house on a tip-off. By the time we picked up him and brought to the police station, the lawyers were waiting inside,” a police officer said. Ravindra was the first person to be issued the newly started land-grabber sheet by the Cyberabad police.

The lawyers tried in vain to stall his arrest citing different provisions of the law, but the Madhapur police showed to them cases of alleged land grabbing he was facing.

“Since we worked hard for days to gather evidence against him, his arrest couldn’t be stopped. But, we also realised that land-grabbers were engaging advocates as part of their advanced preparation in facing the police and the courts,” the investigators said.

Land mafia gangs take the help of the numerous fake certificate racketeers, mostly operating from Old City and surrounding localities, to make fake registration documents and revenue papers. After identifying plots for illegal occupation, the gangs ascertain details of their owners from the local revenue office. Document writers prepare fabricated papers akin to the old records. Then the musclemen take possession of the lands. If the land owner objects, he is threatened or assaulted.

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