Two former TDP ministers booked for illegal purchase of land in Amravati
The Crime Investigation Department (CID) of Andhra Pradesh police on Thursday registered cases against two former Telugu Desam Party ministers and over 700 others, who had allegedly indulged in illegal land transactions in Amaravati capital region during 2014 and 2015.
CID Superintendent of Police Mary Prashanti told reporters that cases had been registered under Section 420 (cheating), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy), besides Section 3 of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, against former ministers Prathipati Pulla Rao and P Narayana.
Besides, cases were also filed against another TDP leader Bellamkonda Narasimha Rao and others who had bought lands in Amaravati through their benamis. “The cases were registered based on a complaint from a Dalit, Pothuraju Bujji of Venkatayapalem village that some people had put pressure on her to sell her land measuring around one acre,” Prashanti said.
The CID official said during the course of the investigation, it was revealed that huge cash transactions had taken place in purchasing the lands. “Some people who do not even have PAN cards in their names and those with white ration cards (given to those Below Poverty Line) purchased the lands by spending huge money. It shows that they did not declare their income and were avoiding payments towards income tax to the government,” she said.
As many as 797 white ration card holders had bought lands to the extent of 761.34 acres whose market value at present runs into around Rs 220 crore. “We are inquiring into all these transactions. In all, four teams have been constituted to probe these illegal land dealings,” she said.
Former minister Prathipati Pulla Rao strongly denied the allegations made by the complainant and condemned the cases filed against him and his former ministerial colleague Narayana. “I was never involved in any land transactions in Amaravati nor had I put any pressure on any Dalit farmers to sell their land,” he said.
Rao said he was ready to face any case filed against him and challenged the police to prove that he was guilty. “I shall drag all these police officers to court for filing false cases against me,” he said.