The issue pertains to 90 acres and eight guntas of land at Kapra village that the Revenue Department officials claimed as government land. According to the FIR by the Jawahar Nagar police under the Rachakonda Commissionerate, on March 16, Kapra tahsildar K Goutham Kumar arrived at a plot (survey number 152) belonging to Julakanti Nagaraju with two JCB vehicles, which led to a confrontation. The official had claimed that it was part of their efforts to reclaim government land. However, Nagaraju alleged that he had not been issued any prior notice and added that a group of men who accompanied the revenue officer removed part of the fence on the land belonging to him. He also accused one of the men of attempting to murder him.
Speaking to TNM, Nagaraju’s advocate M Srinivas Yadav alleged that the legislator was attempting to collect a fee for acting as a mediator between the land owner and the Revenue Department. "The tahsildar was with a group of people who claimed to be Revenue Department officials but were in fact associates of the MLA,” alleges Srinivas who further claimed that the same evening, Nagaraju received a call to ‘come to a hotel to settle the matter’ and was threatened with dire consequences.
“The MLA even offered to mediate to settle the matter if a bribe was paid to him. I have all the proof, which will be submitted to the courts," he added. Srinivas pointed out that the land was awarded by the Union government under the Displaced Person's Act in 1954 to members of a particular family. “The members of the family in recent times handed over parts of the 90 acres to a private developmental authority. The matter had gone to court twice, and in both instances, the family won the case. But the Revenue Department has not updated their records which still shows it as government land,” Srinivas Yadav said.
"The police were initially hesitant to book the case and an FIR was registered after the court intervened,” said the lawyer who accused the police of dragging their feet on investigating the matter further.
Speaking to the media, the legislator denied the accusations levelled against him, claiming that he was not related to the case. "I have no relation to this land grabbing case. The tahsildar called me with information about land grabbing and sought help as he was going to clear the land of encroachers. I have no idea about this land, or the people who have accused me. Let the police enquire and the truth will come out," the legislator said.
The legislator, his associates and the tahsildar have been booked under several sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including Section 120B (criminal conspiracy), Section 166A (disobeying public servant), Section 167 (public servant framing an incorrect document with intent to cause injury), Section 168 (public servant unlawfully engaging in trade), Section 170 (pretending to hold any particular office as a public servant), Section 171 (wearing garb or carrying token used by public servant with fraudulent intent), Section 447 (criminal trespass), Section 468 (forgery), Section 471 (dishonesty), Section 307 (attempt to murder) and Section 506 (criminal intimidation).