Banjara Hills police book 69 people in Rs.100 cr land grab case

The property, measuring about half an acre, is estimated to be worth over Rs 100 crore

Hyderabad: The Banjara Hills police on Monday booked a case against 69 people, including prime accused T. G. Vishwaprasad, son of the brother of T. G. Venkatesh, former state minister and Bharatiya Janata Party Rajya Sabha member from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, for an alleged attempt to grab a prime property adjacent to the Andhra Pradesh Gems and Jewellery Park, in upmarket Banjara Hills. The property, measuring about half an acre, is estimated to be worth over Rs 100 crore.

According to police, scores of people from Kurnool descended upon the land site, which is also being claimed by M/s. Ace Urban Developers Pvt. Ltd., founded by Chalamalasetti Anil, who is also the founder of renowned alternative energy giant, Greeco.

The 69 people attempted to grab the land and created ruckus, police said. Ace Urban became the owner of the AP Gems and Jewellery Park through a corporate insolvency process.

“We received a complaint that over 60 persons, armed with hammers and other weapons, barged into a site in the premises of the AP Gems and Jewellery Park,” Joel Davis, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), west zone, said.

The intruders were predominantly from Kurnool district, but a few locals were also involved, he said, adding, "We have arrested 69 persons and produced them before the III Additional Chief Metropilitian Megistrate at Nampally court."

Police named MP T. G. Venkatesh as accused number five (A5), while his brother’s son, T. G. Vishwaprasad, was made A1, both of whom, according to the police, were absconding.

Refuting the charges, Mr Vishwaprasad, claiming to being currently present in the United States, released a video message, denying all charges of land grabbing.

Providing documentary evidence, including a report submitted by the Hyderabad district authorities in 2014, Vishwaprasad said that his company had entered into a joint development agreement with one V. V. S. Sarma, the original land owner, who had purchased the property in the 1980s.

According to police, Vishwaprasad, along with one Sandeep, and their henchmen, had threatened the Gems Park management on April 4.

On Sunday, people carrying sickles, hammers and sharp weapons, came in large numbers and gained forcible entry into the premises after breaking open the gate with an earth mover. The intruders injured the security personnel of Gems Park, police claimed.

The police also said there seems to be a proposal to build a road on the land for use of the park.

Vishwaprasad, however, accused the police of not acting on their previous complaints against the Gem Park management trying to encroach upon their land, which was not part of the park at all.

Ace Urban has been trying to take over the Gems Park site through the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) resolution process. Now the company is also claiming ownership of an adjacent private land, he said.

Police did not act even after we submitted evidence, which included an injunction order issued by the city civil court, in my company’s favour, he said.

He also said the police did not even acknowledge the receipt of our complaint but acted swiftly on a complaint of the rival claimant, he said.

Mr T. G. Venkatesh, the BJP MP from Kurnool in Rayalaseema, denied any involvement in the matter.

His nephew alleged that it was a clear ploy by some to project as if goons from Rayalaseema were trying to grab lands in Hyderabad. He appealed to the state government to not allow any attempt to incite regional tensions over a property dispute.

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