The DMK has promised to punish former telecom minister A Raja, if he is found to have helped Green House Promoters, owned by his relatives and friends, grab poor farmers' land in Tamil Nadu's Perambulur district.
A leader told HT: "We cannot be silent spectators if any wrong has been done. If found guilty, we will take action against him (Raja)." However, some other senior leaders said there had been counter arguments that the farmers had been paid much more than what they were claiming.
The leaders hoped that the Perambulur collector, M Vijaykumar, who had ordered a district revenue officer-level probe into the charges, would get to the bottom of the matter. Raja was not available for comment. Farmers at Naramangalam village in Raja's home district Perambulur alleged that Green House tricked and coerced them into selling land at 3% to 17% of the prevalent market prices two years ago.
While Raja's brother and wife were till recently directors of the company, its managing director, Sadiq Batcha, is a close associate of Raja and had been questioned by the CBI in connection on the suspicion that the money taken as bribes in the 2G scam was invested in real estate through Green House. Vijaykumar, however, said, "Since thousands of sale deeds are involved, it may be difficult to go into each one of them. There could be an odd case of exploitation, and we will surely deal with such instances."
On the police's role in helping Raja's associates arm-twist people into selling their land, Perambulur police chief Mahendra Singh Rathod said "No specific complaint has so far been received."