Officials of the Andhra Pradesh Crime Investigation Department (CID) said on Thursday that some private individuals were attempting to contact potential witnesses and hamper the probe into the alleged scam of grabbing land from the Dalit community in the Amaravati region. "The victims and witnesses belong to weaker sections and were already hesitant to approach the law enforcement agencies earlier. People are requested not to indulge in a media trial or harass or intimidate the witnesses by approaching them and exposing them to the perpetrators of the offences," said a CID official.
Incidentally, the statement came days after the Andhra Pradesh High Court stayed the investigation into the case after former Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and ex-Minister P Narayana filed quash petitions. The HC has stayed the investigation for four weeks, while it hears all the parties involved.
The CID official highlighted that the case is being examined by the High Court and the agency will responsibly place all the facts before it through a counter affidavit. The alleged land grabbing case surfaced following a complaint lodged by Mangalagiri YSRCP MLA Alla Ramakrishna Reddy.
"He (Ramakrishna Reddy) reported the concerns of the assigned land holders, mostly those belonging to SC/ST and other communities," the CID official said.
He said the MLA procured files pertaining to the alleged illegal modification of the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) land pooling rules which took place in violation of the Andhra Pradesh Assigned Lands (Prohibition of Transfers) Act and the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act through his acquaintances and via applications made under the Right to Information Act (RTI).
"The investigating officer has been recording the statements of various officials involved in the process of framing the rules and the assignees who may have been illegally exploited and deprived of their lands," the official said.
As part of the investigation, the CID has gathered the names of the assignees from the revenue records and data from the AMRDA (CRDA). As many as 150 documents have been collected from the Mangalagiri sub-registrar's office which according to the CID officials clearly show malafide acts from individuals involved in illegal activities.
"The details such as names, addresses, photographs etc. of these persons who are suspected to be benamis of persons connected to the individuals in decision making roles in the then government are being compiled," he observed.
Reddy had alleged that TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu had hatched a big conspiracy as the chairman of the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA), along with education baron P Narayana as its vice chairman during his tenure as the CM between 2014 and 2019.
According to Reddy, the previous TDP government allegedly indulged in land grabbing from Dalits to the tune of 500 acres in the Mangalagiri constituency alone and up to 3,500 acres in the Tadikonda constituency. He claimed that the alleged land grabbing amounts to 4,000 acres in both these constituencies, relying on the information he is privy to.