Taking pot-shots at land-grabbers at the customary year-end press conference, Cyberabad Police Commissioner C.V. Anand on Friday said that land mafia gangs and litigants were adopting pressure tactics like circulation of one-sided versions through the media but asserted that police would not be deterred by false propaganda.

Referring to some recent land dispute cases, in which the litigants moved courts, the Commissioner said that they had attempted to put pressure on police by making personal allegations against him. Mr. Anand warned that the Cyberabad Police would tackle those involved in land disputes with an iron hand.

“After taking legal steps to answer such petitions, we will seek permission from the government to file a defamation suit against them. We’re not going to take it lightly,” he said. Apparently upset over the way some Telugu TV news channels had reported two land litigation cases, the Commissioner said some persons were going to the media after filing cases in the court. This, he said, was to pressurise investigators to take decisions in their favour. But, police cannot be mute spectators and will not be deterred by arm-twisting methods, he reiterated.

Criminals, government employees and even some policemen are aiding land mafia gangs directly or indirectly.

Keeping in view the complexity of land disputes, the Cyberabad Police have evolved standard operative procedures (SOPs) like maintaining status quo when two litigants approach police claiming rights over the same piece of land.

“For some policemen, the SOPs have become eye-sore, because they are not able to take any biased stand in a case, and everything has to be done transparently,” Mr. Anand said.

Joint Commissioner of Police D.S. Chauhan appealed to the media to adopt the ‘hear the other side’ principle before airing the litigant’s version.

“If someone makes an allegation in a land or property case, take the version of the other party and look for basic facts,” he said.

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