The Perambulur district administration has ordered an inquiry by the district revenue officer and the superintendant of police into the alleged irregularities in land deals in which several poor farmers were apparently arm twisted into parting away with their lands for a pittance.
District collector M Vijaykumar has asked the DRO to conduct an inquiry into allegations by scores of impoverished farmers of Naramangalam village that they were coerced into selling their land besides being duped by middlemen representing Green House Promoters, a real estate company with which relatives and business associate of former union telecom minister A Raja are closely associated.
The collector told Hindustan Times on Tuesday that if any wrongdoings were detected, corrective action would be taken.
On another plea by villagers who were allegedly promised job in MRF company's factory coming up in the area if they sold their lands, the collector said that he would persuade the company to look after the interests of the farmers.
As to the allegations of cheating, VIjaykumar said that he has asked the DRO to inquire and submit a report within 10 days. If anything is amiss, action would be initiated.
But in land deals between two private parties, the government can not intervene. Only the civil courts can.
Superintendent of Police, Perambulur, Mahendra Singh Rathod, when contacted said that the revenue officials of the collectorate were looking into the allegations. As of now, the police has nothing to do with the issue. As, it is the revenue officials who have the records of the deals and processed them, Rathod said.
When asked about allegations of coercion and threats made by some representatives of the real estate firm, Rathod said "we have no specific complaint against anyone registered with us. If any complaint is made, we will definitely investigate."
Raja Chidambaram, secretary, Tamizhaga Vyavasayigal Sangham (Tamizhaga farmers association) that has rallied the 160 odd victims as also N Chelladurai, state secretary of CPM backed Tamil Nadu Vyavasayigal Sangham (Tamil Nadu farmers association) welcomed the probe initiative and hoped that the poor farmers get justice. But they do voice skepticism whether justice would be done.
Some 160 farmers belonging to Naramangalam village in Perambulur district from where Raja hails have alleged that the people representing Green House Promoters had threatened them to sell their land at prices that were way below the market price.
Raja’ brother A Kaliaperumal and Raja's wife till recently associated with the company whose managing director Sadiq Batcha has been questioned by the CBI in connection with the 2G Spectrum scam. Residences of Raja's relatives in Chennai, Perambulur were raided by the CBI on last Wednesday, following which Batcha was questioned.
Later, IT officials also examined accounts and other documents at the T Nagar office of the real estate company.