A Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up to probe insider trading in land transactions related to Amaravati in Andhra Pradesh, has reportedly detained a Deputy Collector working in the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA).
According to reports, the SIT detained Deputy Collector Madhuri, alleging that she had registered land accounting to three acres in Amaravati's Nekkallu village, for one Ravella Gopalakrishna in 2016. The official was questioned at her residence in Vijayawada on Wednesday, before she was detained by investigation authorities.
The SIT had earlier arrested Gopalakrishna after it was found that he was holding land in the village, allegedly in violation of rules. Further details are awaited and investigation is ongoing.
Madhuri was among several Deputy Collectors who were deputed to the APCRDA in December 2014, through a Government Order (GO) by the previous Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government.
In February this year, the Jagan Mohan Reddy government had set up a 10-member SIT headed by senior police officer K Raghuram Reddy, to investigate irregularities highlighted in a report by a cabinet sub-committee.
The sub-committee was constituted last year to review major policies, projects, programmes, institutions established and key administrative actions during the TDP rule.
The sub-committee presented the first part of its report highlighting various "procedural, legal and financial irregularities and fraudulent transactions" related to Amaravati in December last year.
It alleged that just before Chandrababu Naidu declared Amaravati as the capital in 2014, around 4,075 acres of land was purchased by senior politicians and businessmen close to the TDP chief.
"To additionally favour the above-mentioned category of landholding people, the government manipulated the boundaries of the capital area after the initial designation," the report said.
It added that the boundaries of the Land Pooling Scheme (LPS) area were redesigned in such a way, that the lands of the leaders of the TDP or their relatives fell right adjacent to the boundary, thereby making them exempt from the scheme, but still allowing them to enjoy the benefits of the steep hike in land price.
The report was presented during the Assembly session last month when the House passed two Bills to create two more state capitals besides Amaravati. During the discussion, the Speaker had directed the government to initiate a systematic and comprehensive investigation into the issue.