Amaravati: The chief of Crime Investigation Department, Andhra Pradesh, P.V. Sunil Kumar has alleged that 'certain individuals' are trying to contact witnesses to the Amaravati land scam in an attempt to hamper the investigation by twisting the facts. The IPS officer who is spearheading the land scam investigation has warned of dare consequences if the persons behind these actions are caught.

"The victims, witnesses belonging to weaker sections, were already hesitant to approach the law enforcement agencies. The media was requested not to conduct any trial of their own by harassment or intimidation of witnesses, by approaching them and exposing them to the perpetrators of the offences. As the matter is under examination by the court, we will be responsibly placing all these facts before the court through a counter affidavit," the CID chief said.

The CID took up the investigation into illegally 'assigned lands' pertaining to Amaravati based on a complaint filed by Alla Ramakrishna Reddy, MLA Mangalagiri. The MLA had alleged that over 500 acres of land belonging to the Dalits in his constituency alone were seized through dubious means.

Former AP Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and former minister P. Narayana have been listed as accused no. 1 and accused no. 2. Other officials have also been included in the FIR as accused but have not been named yet. The issue pertains to the pooling of land for the development of Amaravati as the new state capital in 2015.

According to the MLA, assigned landholders are primarily those who belong to the Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes and other categories. The MLA through an RTI and other sources is said to have gathered information pertaining to the alleged illegal modification of the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) land pooling rules which took place in violation of the AP assigned lands (Prohibition of transfer) Act and SC/ST (POA) Act.

The team investigating the scam has been recording the statements of various government officials involved in the process of framing the rules related to GO 41 and the assignees (who may have been illegally exploited and deprived of their lands). The names of the assignees were gathered from the revenue records and the data from the AMRDA (CRDA).

It is pertinent to note that the CID has booked a number of politicians for their alleged involvement in the land scam including Naidu and Narayana. The CID had summoned Naidu and Narayana for questioning in the case. However, both got a temporary relief when the Andhra Pradesh High Court stayed the (CID) investigation against the two leaders in the Amaravati land scam case for four weeks.

During months of investigation, the team has collected over 150 documents from the sub-registrar office, Mangalagiri. "The documents showed malafide acts of the individuals who were involved in illegal activities. The details of the case such as names, addresses, and photographs of these persons who are suspected to be benamis of persons connected to the individuals in the decision-making role in the then government are being compiled," the officer explained.

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