Staff Reporter

More action likely to follow, says District Collector

ERODE: The Erode district police on Wednesday arrested a village administrative officer (VAO) after investigations into the Sivagiri land scam pointed to his alleged involvement.

A couple of days ago, residents of Nallachellipalayam village, near Sivagiri, petitioned the Collector, T. Udhayachandran, requesting a probe in to a land scam in their village.

The villagers had alleged that a few persons had forged documents of their lands and using those documents had obtained loans.

Mr. Udhayachandran ordered an investigation, which led to the arrest of two document writers and a couple of others, functioning at the sub-registrar’s office there. The arrested were document writers Annamalai and Gopalakrishnan, and the village residents Dharman and Ponnusamy.

During the course of the investigation, the clues the police obtained pointed to the alleged involvement of VAO of Anjur, Somasundaram. The police subsequently arrested him on Wednesday.

Collector Udhayachandran, told reporters here on Thursday that the Economic Offences Wing of the Erode police was probing the case and a few more heads were likely to roll.

He said he suspected the fraud to have been committed at the instance of a few tractor salesmen, who wanted to promote the product.

As part of the investigation, banks, from whose branches the fraudsters had obtained loans, have launched a parallel probe.

The Collector said he wanted to assure the farmers that their land holding would not be affected and that they could approach the nearest registrar’s office to get the fraudulent registrations annulled.

On the possible involvement of Revenue Department officials, he said the investigation covered that angle as well, and if any official was found to be guilty, no efforts would be spared in punishing them.