In a major break-through, police have arrested a person, who was allegedly behind the bogus pattas racket that became a menace to the administration in Ongole and adjoining panchayats.
Following instructions from District Collector Kantilal Dande and Superintendent of Police V Navinchand, revenue, police and municipal officials swooped on the house of one Palakiti Malakondaiah at Vura tank adjacent to modern vegetable market late last night and seized bundles of house-site pattas ready for distribution bearing the ‘signatures' and ‘seals' of Tehsildars of Ongole and Santanutalapadu.
All that one had to do was to fill up the blanks like beneficiary name, survey number of land and boundaries of the plot.
Police arrested him on charges of forgery and cheating.
According to officials, the accused used to identify government waste land in and around Ongole town, prepare a lay-out and sell the house-site plots to gullible persons.
The fake pattas have been bewildering the officials.
The officials allotted one acre of land in Vura tank for construction of an auditorium and got the foundation stone laid by the then Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy in 2005.
But they found to their dismay that the land was already occupied by hut-dwellers, who contended that the officials had issued house-site pattas to them.
The beneficiaries went to court and stalled the auditorium work.
The officials found themselves in a piquant situation.
The then Collector, K Devanand, had to allot alternative land for auditorium to expedite its construction.
Similarly, Acharya Nagarjuna University efforts to start post-graduate centre at Pernamitta near Ongole came to a naught as the land allotted to it was found to be in the possession of some hut-dwellers with fake pattas.
The officials hope to break the mystery shrouding the house-site patta racket in Ongole town with the arrest of Malakondaiah.