Visakhapatnam: The Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted by the state government to probe into the alleged land scam has submitted its interim report to the state. The SIT chairman, Dr K. Vijay Kumar, on 18 March, said the team got a one-and-a-half month extension to conduct the investigation and submit the final report.

The SIT received 1,380 petitions, of which 679 were referred to the concerned tahsildars, Dr Vijay Kumar said. The tahsildars returned 420 reports so far and of them 342 were disposed of.

He said that during the investigation, it was found that GO22A, which prohibits registration of land, had become a bane for the people. Due to lack of sub-division of land it was not possible to identify which land fell under the purview of the government order. “We had a review meeting with the 13 tahsildars and we suggested they speed up the sub-division process using mandal surveyors since people are suffering,’’ the SIT chairman said, adding 110 acres of land have been locked under GO22A.

Asked about the modus operandi behind the land encroachments, Mr Vijay Kumar said the tahsildars entrusted the digital key to the computer operators which gave them an opportunity to tamper the records. The operators are appointed under an outsourcing scheme. The SIT suggested that the collector initiate action against the tahsildars whose negligence led to the tampering of the records. A similar suggestion was also made to tahsildars to initiate action against the operators, Dr Vijay Kumar said.

The SIT chief said the AP housing corporation has also been asked to file FIR against those who encroached into the government land. Two such cases have been filed under Section 140 of the CrPC.

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