Amaravati land scam: Andhra CID summons Naidu for questioning

Naidu and a former TDP minister have been accused cheating farmers and illegally and fraudulently taking their lands for the Amaravati project in 2015

Chandrababu Naidu, TDP, president, airport, YSRCP, Visakhapatnam, executive capital, protests
Chandrababbu Naidu and P Narayana had filed a petition seeking quashing of the FIR. Photo: PTI

The Crime Investigation Department (CID) of Andhra Pradesh police on Tuesday (March 16) issued a notice on TDP chief and former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu in the Amaravati land scam.

The TDP has called it the “most frivolous FIR” filed by a ruling YSRCP MLA. The FIR was filed under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and also the SCs and STs (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Related news: Bundle of lies: Chandrababu Naidu flays consultancy report junking Amaravati

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CID investigating officer Lakshmi Narayana Rao asked Naidu to appear in person at the CID regional office in Vijayawada on March 23 “to examine you (A-1) in the above crime, to ascertain facts which are within your exclusive knowledge.”

A notice was also issued to Dr P Narayana, who helmed the Municipal Administration and Urban Development department during Naidu’s regime. He also has been asked to appear at the CID office for questioning on March 23.

The FIR was registered by CID on March 12, based on a complaint filed by YSRC MLA Alla Ramakrishna Reddy on February24, over a month after the High Court struck down a case pertaining to “insider trading” in the Amaravati land scam, naming Chandrababu Naidu and former minister P Narayana as “known suspected unknown accused.”

The issue pertains to pooling of land for the development of the states’ new capital city Amaravati back in 2015.

The timing of the complaint and FIR raised eyebrows as it came after a lapse of six years and a related matter was struck down by the High Court.

Referring to the MLA’s complaint, the FIR said, “some of the formers (farmers) of his constituency represented him that some influenced persons of the then government have cheated them by taking away their lands illegally, fraudulently by keeping innocent peasants under confusion and fear of insecurity about their lands.”

“This set of middle man who were the part of the conspiracy by making false representation that the government was going to take away their assigned lands without giving any compensation (sic).”

On that, the complainant verified the GOs issued by the government and found that several irregularities were committed by the respondents and caused irreparable loss to the SC and ST community and weaker sections and got wrongful gains and requested to take necessary legal actions, the FIR said.

A team of CID officials went to Chandrababu’s Jubilee Hills residence in Hyderabad, where he was now staying, and served the notice.

As per Section 41 CrPC, any police officer “may without an order from a magistrate and without a warrant, arrest any person who has been concerned in any cognizable offence, or against whom a reasonable complaint has been made, or credible information has been received, or a reasonable suspicion exists, of his having been so concerned.”

Reacting to the CID notice, TDP state president K Atchannaidu said it was nothing but vendetta.

Related news: Chandrababu Naidu’s capital failures

In a statement, Atchannaidu alleged that Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s family had occupied over 700 acres of assigned land in his family estate in Kadapa district for 30 years and claimed to have returned 300 acres after it was exposed.

“Did not your father, late chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, amend the Assigned Land (Prohibition of Transfer) Actin 2007. Has he not enabled taking away the poor people’s lands and handing them over to persons of choice?” Atchannaidu questioned.

The former minister pointed out that lands in the Amaravati region were not taken for any personal gains but the farmers had voluntarily given them up for building the state capital.

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