Elderly farmer-couple fights to get back land grabbed by Sasikala’s brother

In 2008, TV Sundaravadanam allegedly forced the couple to sell their land in Thanjavur by threatening to harm their children.

Manohar, 69, a farmer from Thiruvaiyaru in Thanjavur and his wife were forcibly taken to the residence of Sundaravadanam, the brother of AIADMK leader Sasikala, serving a four-year jail term for amassing assets disproportionate to her known income. Manohar and his wife were coerced to sign the land documents pertaining to his four acres of land for a sale price of ₹6.5 lakh. The market rate of the property was ascertained to be ₹65 lakh.

For over a decade, an elderly couple in Thanjavur has been waging a battle to get back their agriculture land, allegedly grabbed by sidelined AIADMK leader VK Sasikala’s brother TV Sundaravadanam.

However, police have failed to trace Sundaravadanam, who has even failed to turn up in court to receive the charge-sheet copies filed against him and 10 others.

In 2008, Manohar, 69, a farmer from Thiruvaiyaru in Thanjavur and his wife were forcibly taken to Sundaravadanam’s house, coercing them to sign the land documents pertaining to Manohar’s four acres of land for a sale price of ₹6.5 lakh. This when the market value of their land was ₹65 lakh!

“When we refused to sign the documents, my three children were taken to his house and we were threatened to sign the documents or else my children would be harmed. Left with no option, my wife signed the documents with a heavy heart,” Manohar said.

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For a property worth ₹65 lakh, Sundaravadanan offered a sum of only ₹6.5 lakh. “I did not accept the money and so they started torturing. Henchmen sent by Sundaravadavam threatened me to take it or leave it. I still did not accept the money and I filed a police complaint instead, but no action was initiated then,” Manohar said.

After running from pillar to post to get his land back, Manohar got some relief in 2012 after revenue officials took up his complaint for inquiry. After two years, the divisional revenue officer ordered the changing of the patta in the name of Manohar’s wife.

“Nothing happened for a year and I filed a case in the court seeking directions to file a case against Sundaravadanam and other people who threatened us,” Manohar said.

Also read: Sasikala may be released in January, 2021, says RTI reply

In 2015, the Thanjavur police registered a case against Sundaravanam and 10 others on various charges, including cheating, kidnapping and criminal breach of trust. After five years, in August, police filed a chargesheet in connection with the case. “However, Sundaravadanam and his associates did not turn up in the court to receive the copies of charge-sheet. Subsequently, the court issued a non-bailable warrant against all the 10,” Manohar said.

In the hearing held last week, police told the court that all the accused were absconding and they were on the lookout for the accused.

“It’s been over a decade and the fight for my own land is still on. But, I won’t rest till I get justice,” Manohar said.

A senior official with Thanjavur district police, who did not wished to be named, said they would trace all the 10 accused and execute non-bailable warrants against them.

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