Visakhapatnam: In view of the ever increasing criticism on the SIT (special investigation team) looking into the land scam in Visakhapatnam, the Andhra Pradesh government has finally decided to further increase the powers of the SIT by widening its scope of reach.
Earlier, the SIT was asked only to inquire and submit a detailed report on tampering of records of both government and private lands in Visakhapatnam. However, the order which came in the late evening hours of Saturday gave the SIT more powers to unearth the irregularities in land registrations.
According to the latest order issued by the Secretary of the Andhra Pradesh government, the Special investigation team would also look into the changes made in the classification of lands i.e, from (government to non-government land) in the records of the revenue department.
Further, the SIT will investigate into all the cases of assignments made to ex-servicemen including the no objection certificates issued for the sale or disposal of lands. The SIT will also look into the cases which involved private individuals or institutions encroaching the government lands, illegally.
The SIT was formed by the state government after a land-grabbing issue in Visakhapatnam created tremors, with the opposition parties demanding an investigation. The special investigation team consisting of police officers and revenue officials, headed by Vineet Brijlal (DIG-Greyhounds) started its investigation on June 28.
As per the schedule announced by the SIT, it has closed the window for receiving complaints from the general public on July 15, 2017. So far, it has received 2,553 complaints and it is estimated that the number may increase if the deadline is extended by at least one week.
Meanwhile, Visakhapatnam North MLA and BJP floor leader Mr. Vishnu Kumar Raju wrote a letter to the Andhra Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Mr. Chinarajappa, requesting for the extension of the deadline for the SIT to August 31, in view of the huge number of complaints being received on a daily basis.