The Andhra Pradesh CID has identified 106 cash transactions for the purchase of assigned lands in Amaravati Capital Region from June to December 2015, when the TDP was in power in the state.
Assigned lands are plots given by government to SCs and STs, the poor, landless beneficiaries, ex-servicemen etc. The size of the plots ranges from half to one acre. Under the AP Assigned Lands (Prohibition of Transfers) Act 1977, transfer or sale of assigned lands is prohibited.
The CID has found that 87.93 acres of assigned lands were sold off by the beneficiaries. The purchases were done through 106 cash transactions of various amounts ranging from Rs 2-20 lakh. All the assigned lands sold off are in Mangalagiri mandal in Guntur district.
On Thursday, the CID wrote to the Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Vijayawada, requesting an Income Tax probe into cash transactions in land purchases in Amaravati. The letter stated that during the course of investigation of suspicious land deals in Amaravati Capital Region, it came to light that a huge number of cash transactions took place in purchasing lands.
“While examining those transactions, it was found that most of the transactions were done in cash, that too above Rs 2 lakh,” states the letter, written by P V Sunil Kumar, Additional DGP, Andhra CID. The CID requested the I-T department to enquire and ascertain if the persons who made the cash transactions evaded paying taxes.
A cabinet sub-committee constituted by the current YSRCP government reported that real estate developers and local TDP leaders formed a coterie to force owners of assigned lands owned by SCs and STs to sell to them 444 acres of land in the Amaravati region.
A report submitted by the Cabinet sub-committee said that certain influential real estate developers, with the backing of local TDP leaders, coerced land beneficiaries to sell their land to them.
The modus operandi, according to the report, was that the realtors and political leaders approached the owners of assigned lands and informed them that their lands were not covered under the land pooling scheme and therefore, they were not eligible for monetary benefits.
With the threat of their land being taken over by the government later on, the assigned land owners panicked and sold off their lands at cheap rates. After over 444 acres of assigned lands were sold off, the TDP government released a government order that they too would be covered under the land pooling scheme. The report alleges that 30 realtors and local TDP leaders purchased 444.66 acres of assigned lands from Dalits and STs.
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