Chennai man alleges harassment by ex-AIADMK MLA for filing encroachment complaint

He had alleged that former AIADMK MLA Vedachalam’s wife and two others allegedly forged documents with official help and presented a public road as their land even claiming compensation for land acquisition.
Former AIADMK MLA Vedachalam who is facing allegations of intimation and harassment.
Former AIADMK MLA Vedachalam who is facing allegations of intimation and harassment.
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A former Southern Railway employee who took on the family of a politician, who is former All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) MLA, for allegedly encroaching on a public road for the last thirty years, is facing harassment from him according to a police complaint. 

According to the complaint submitted to the Greater Chennai Police (GCP) Commissioner on February 29, the politician, with the help of Ambattur (zone-7) Establishment, Works, Conservancy & Town Planning, Executive Engineer (EE), is “intimidating” him to withdraw the complaint.

DF Devaprakash, the former railway employee, had filed a complaint against former AIADMK MLA S Vedachalam’s wife V Mohana and two other individuals – RV Shamsath Begum and Sri Duraisamy Reddy – for encroaching on a public road — Boosthithi Road in Korattur, Chennai. S Vedachalam, who has now moved to the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK), was the MLA of the Ambattur Assembly constituency between 2011 and 2016.

The group of encroachers, allegedly using Vedachalam’s influence, forged documents with the help of the Ambattur Taluk authorities and presented the Boosthithi road as their patta land, Devaprakash said. His ancestral house is adjacent to the road and he grew up there, he said. Through a Right To Information (RTI) petition, Devaprakash found a record of the land under question being marked as ‘Boosthithi road’  from the Town Survey Land records which was validated in 1997 by the then inspector of Town Survey. In the record, ‘Boosthithi road’ has been circled and the names of the encroachers were added.

Using the forged document, the ex-MLA’s wife also tried to claim compensation from the State Highways Department when they acquired a portion of the Boosthithi road for constructing a Road Under Bridge in Korattur in 2011, Devaprakash alleged. The compensation “illegally” claimed by them amounted to over Rs 18 lakh.

Town Survey record where Boosthithi road has been circled and the names of the encroachers have been added.
Town Survey record where Boosthithi road has been circled and the names of the encroachers have been added.

TNM visited the site and found that the road under question has been turned into a parking spot for cycles and motor bikes and several shops have also been established. Several houses located on that road had their house’s front or back entrance gates leading to the road. Those gates have now been demolished and a bike stand has been constructed.

“After I found the record, I filed a petition with the Collector who forwarded my complaint to the Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) Central Madras. The then RDO had asked the Tahsildar of Ambattur to review the complaint. On February 15, 2023, the Tahsildar submitted a report confirming that the land records had been tampered with. The RDO has received this report and a field inspection was also conducted in November 2023. But, the RDO has not cancelled their patta. The politician used his influence and has ensured that the RDO office does not take any action on the file,” Devaprakash told TNM.

RDO Murugan said he assumed office in central Chennai only recently and that no one has brought the file to his notice yet. He assured that he will take necessary action once he reviews the contents of the file.

Town survey map of the land under question
Town survey map of the land under question

There are also complaints of the politician’s wife having impersonated an owner, whose property is on the end of Boosthithi road (marked as 1 in the town survey map) through fraudulent means. Since a portion of that property was also acquired for the construction of the Road Under Bridge, he tried to gain money there too. But those owners and my complaints have made sure that he hasn’t received that money,” Devaprakash alleged.

TNM has seen the documents which declared the compensatory amount. For the portion of property that the State Highway Department acquired – marked as 1 in the Town Survey map, which Vedachalam’s wife has allegedly acquired by impersonating the owners, the compensatory amount announced by the highway department is Rs 26,55,199. Meanwhile, for the portion of the Boosthithi road acquired by the politician’s wife - marked as 32 in the Town Survey map, the compensation comes up to Rs 18,58,369.

Devaprakash said he had taken steps to ensure that the compensation amount for the acquisition of land is withheld. He alleged that the politician is purposefully using his powers to create troubles for him and his wife because of this. 

Devaprakash’s wife, Vijaya, also an ex-railway employee, owns a flat in Korattur, where the family has lived for over 20 years and is now given out on rent. She alleged that after her husband started following the case of the former politician, the GCC’s EE S Kumarasamy along with Assistant Engineer (AE) Kamalakannan started issuing notices to her property. 

The notices said the builder had deviated from the plan approved by the municipality.  “They had warned us around June last year that if we failed to withdraw the complaint against Vedachalam, we will be targeted and more notices will follow in the future,” Vijaya told TNM. They had bought the property more than 20 years ago by availing a loan.

The family didn’t withdraw the complaint, following which another notice which said the property will be sealed was sent to them in July 2023. The next month, Vijaya filed an appeal before the Housing and Urban Development Department’s appellate authority and is awaiting orders. “The EE told us that the deviations are minor and that he will clear everything if I withdraw the complaints against Vedachalam,” Devaprakash alleged.

Despite intimidation and threats, Devaprakash filed a follow-up complaint with the Chennai District Collector on February 12, 2024, seeking the cancellation of patta to the  politician. Within weeks, the EE of Ambattur issued a notice asking Vijaya and other apartment owners to vacate. “We have to vacate the building by March 13 as per the notice and so must the other owners. The other owners are also getting affected because of this politician who wishes to avenge us,” Devaprakash told TNM.

Vedachalam however, denied all allegations. He told TNM that the property was purchased in 1989. “I am not threatening or intimidating anyone. If anything, it is the complainant who is troubling us by sending complaints and letters to the government. We have not forged any documents. Our properties were purchased lawfully,” he said. TNM contacted the Establishment, Works, Conservancy & Town Planning EE, S Kumarasamy for a statement, but messages and calls were unanswered. The story would be updated once they respond.

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