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Crackdown launched against land grabbers in Tiruchi

S. Ganesan

Complaints mostly from Musiri, Lalgudi and Gundur areas

Transactions have been done impersonating owners

TIRUCHI: Following widespread complaints of land grabbing, the district administration has launched a crackdown against the racketeers. One person has been arrested and two criminal cases have been filed so far. Collector T.Soundiah has taken up investigations into four other complaints.

The move comes in the wake of complaints from a few individuals and farmers organisations alleging bogus transactions, wherein lands were “sold” without the knowledge of farmers/owners. The modus operandi of the racketeers has been either to impersonate the land owners or create forged power of attorneys or patta documents to register sale deeds to buyers from outside the district. The connivance of Revenue and Registration Department employees and elected representatives of local bodies was suspected in some cases. Complaints have come from mostly Lalgudi and Musiri belts and from Gundur near the City.

Recently, a piece of agriculture land owned and in possession of a farmer of Neikulam village near Lalgudi was found to have been sold to a buyer from Chennai through a forged power of attorney. The Revenue land records had also been altered and forgery was unearthed by a VAO.

In Mangalam village in Musiri Taluk and Chettikulam near Lalgudi, land transactions have been registered impersonating land owners. In Gundur, land grabbers have occupied about three acres of prime land belonging to a landlord from Karaikudi. Though the Revenue records have been corrected after an enquiry, the owner is still struggling to regain possession of the land.

Sources said the racketeers were taking advantage of certain loopholes in the land registration rules and even though photo identification has been made mandatory for registering land transactions, impersonations could not be prevented.

When contacted, Mr. Soundiah said he has already held a meeting with the Deputy Inspector General, Registration, and the Superintendent of Police. “I have instructed the DIG to thoroughly verify the records and the credentials of claimants in suspect cases, even if meant a slight delay in carrying out the registrations,” Mr. Soundiah said.“We are also taking remedial action to cancel such bogus registrations and set right the Revenue records,” Mr. Soundiah added.

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