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Blood stains property deals

Published Dec 25, 2013, 3:11 pm IST
Updated Mar 19, 2019, 2:34 am IST
The lack of coordination and collaboration between the Revenue Department dealing.

Chennai: The lack of coordination and collaboration between the Revenue Department dealing with the ownership of property and the Registration Department handling the transfer of such ownership from one to another, has led to countless number of disputes.

Not just the civil cases piling up in various courts of law right up to the Supreme Court of India but also sometimes resulting in violent crimes that include murders. The police have not helped much in most cases and have often been found ducking behind the excuse, ‘Oh, it’s a civil case’.


One needs to drive just 30 minutes south from Chennai airport to reach a place called Urapakkam and just across it, another little village known as Kilambakkam, within walking distance from the Vandalur zoo. The area falling under Kancheepuram district has long been notorious for property killings; for instance, a woman panchayat president was hacked to death in her office in broad daylight a few years ago and a local gangster was chopped down later in retaliation.

“Violent property disputes became the order of the day after the paddy fields in Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts adjoining Chennai turned into expensive real estate for the people of the fast-expanding metropolis.


An acre sold for a lakh of rupees in the late 80s now fetches Rs 15-20 crore on the GST road here. And in the land-grab wars that go on in these areas, the price of a head is only Rs 2,000”, said a local dada who had graduated into a ‘busy realtor’ hopping from one kangaroo court to another in his white Scorpio. He did not require much prodding to come out with details of how the land sharks operate and what he meant by Rs 2,000 price for a head.

A dada could hire one of the many hit men on call in his territory — sometimes they are hired from distant districts and even other states, depending on the complexity of the ‘job’ — and he would execute the murder for a fee as low as Rs.2,000 for an ‘ordinary’ target. Either the killer himself would surrender before a magistrate or someone else would be made to do that on his behalf.


He would later come out on bail and after meandering through several adjourned hearings, he would be acquitted for lack of evidence because by then, the prosecution witnesses would have been ‘taken care of’. The scary story has one big lesson for aspiring landowners: do not invest in land unless you can ensure physical possession by way of fencing the property and putting a watchman on guard.

The dada realtor is politically connected and also has an ‘influential’ caste tag — most of them possess these two important qualifications to be able to take on government machinery should it intervene when they cheat the innocent / unprotected landowner.


The network at its core has four members: a snooper who goes around on his mobike looking for empty plots of land, the local revenue inspector (RI) / village administrative officer (VAO) who provides him with details of owners, a lawyer who creates forged / fabricated ownership papers and a realtor who funds the above three wings of this thriving business and in return grabs the property using muscle power, plus the many loopholes in the law. An ordinary person lacking political connections or tonnes of money to be able to hire rowdies will most certainly lose in the battle. The courts will not help such a victim.


(To be continued. Responses to:

Location: Tamil Nadu