Andhra Pradesh

Missing DR files a challenge for SIT

The ‘Darkhast Registers’ are said to be the heart and soul of land records

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) that was constituted by the State Government to probe into the alleged land-grabbing cases in Visakhapatnam district is facing obstacles in assimilating details of the land under question.

The main challenge faced by the team is the availability of ‘Darkhast Registers’, known as DRs. It is learnt that DRs pertaining to a number of cases, which have come as petitions, are missing.

“It is difficult, but we will overcome it. We have to find leads and build the files from scratch,” said former IAS officer Y.V. Anuradha, who is on the three-member SIT.

DR files are the heart and soul of land details. They contain historical details with survey reports, FMB (field measurement book) details and how many times a particular piece of land has exchanged hands. “If this is missing, it becomes a challenge. But we are building up such cases from slender leads,” Ms. Anuradha said.

The SIT had closed its counters that were opened to receive complaints at the VMRDA Children’s Arena on November 7, and inquiry work has already begun. Still, a counter has been kept open at the present SIT office in Yeluru Guest House and people can walk in and lodge a complaint, Ms. Anuradha said.

So far, 1,563 complaints that fall under the purview of the SIT have been registered and 914 complaints under non-SIT have been received.

According to Ms. Anuradha, all the 914 non-SIT complaints have been digitised and sent to the Joint Collector for his review. “Thereafter, based on the remarks, they will be marked to concerned authorities,” she said.

All the 1,563 SIT complaints have been digitised and classified mandal-wise and out of them, about 500 pertain to tampering and classification change cases. Close to 400 deal with encroachment of government land.

Old SIT report

The current SIT is also looking into the 68 NOC cases that were earmarked by the earlier SIT that was constituted in 2017, by the then TDP government.

These NOC cases pertain to land belonging to people such as ex-service and political sufferers. “These lands were given to such people by the government, but some land sharks had fraudulently forged the documents and tampered with the records to sell them off,” she said.

Apart from examining the 68 cases, the present SIT has also received 17 applications pertaining to this category.

Work in progress

Of the 1,563 SIT-related cases, the team has already examined 178 files or petitions and has sent them to the authorities concerned for a report.

“The authorities will have to submit a report within seven days. Based on the report, we will decide on our future course of action and then arrive at a conclusion,” said Ms. Anuradha.

Explaining the role of the SIT, Ms. Anuradha said that apart from dealing with individual cases, they are also considering coming up with a roadmap for future policy decisions by the government.

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Printable version | Jul 4, 2020 12:21:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/missing-dr-files-a-challenge-for-sit/article30088962.ece

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