Vizag ‘land scam’: Runaway revenue official held in Hyd

Visakhapatnam: The city police today arrested an absconding local Revenue department official from Hyderabad in connection with their investigation into an alleged land scam.

G.L Ganeswara Rao, the Inspector of Survey, Rural Tehsildar Office, was arrested for allegedly tampering with the records of land located at Madhurawada, Pardesipalem and PM Palem areas so as “to alienate about 356 acres of the government land” as per an estimate by the police, city Police Commissioner T Yoganand said.

Rao, on the run for the last seven weeks, is the second person to be arrested in the case filed in Arilova police station here last month. The police had arrested local tehsildar M Sankara Rao for allegedly tampering with the land records.

“Police found 145 pattadar passbooks (90 empty and 55 filled), the records pertaining to 27 persons whose names were incorporated in 1B (land) registers, an old trust deed of MANASA Trust, the ‘D’ form pattas, a survey and settlement register, 40 title deeds, 30 blank house allotment pattas, and an album containing signatures of revenue officials who worked in the district earlier, from the house of Rao’s driver,” the commissioner said.

Yoganand said though Rao was arrested by the ACB for allegedly amassing illegal assets in 2009, he managed to get a plum posting.

Explaining the modus of operandi of Rao, the officer said, “After entering the names in the 1B register, Rao would enter into a sale agreement with those persons who are either his relatives or close to him. Later, he would go to Sub-Registrar’s office for registering the deal”.

He said Rao in connivance with Tehsildar Sankar Rao has allegedly amassed crores.

“Rao had presented an apartment worth Rs one crore and a high-end car to Sankar Rao,” Yoganand added.