KOCHI: The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) director Mr Anil Kant on Wednesday ordered the VACB Ernakulam unit to register a case in connection with the Choornikkara land scam following the inquiry report which was submitted to the director with the recommendation to register an FIR.
The inquiry report revealed that there was corruption in the case related to the conversion of wetland to a commercially valuable dry land at Choornikkara and also suggested the launch of a detailed probe.
Meanwhile, Mr Anil Kant has also assigned a special investigation team headed by Mr K.E. Baiju, superintendent of police, Vigilance Special Investi-gation Unit 2, to find out other such land conversions that have taken place in the state.
In the Choornikkara case, the director has assigned K. Karthick Superintendent of Police, VACB, Central Range, as the investigating officer along with Deputy Superintendent of Police T.M. Varghese.
The report was submitted to the Vigilance director after a preliminary inquiry was completed by the probe team and recording the statements from several people. Sources said that once the VACB registers an FIR, it will request the government to stop the police investigation and transfer the case to it.
The Aluva east police has so far arrested two persons - Abootty aka Abu of Sreemoolanagaram near Kalady and Arun of Karamana in Thiruvananthapuram-- in connection with the alleged forgery of documents for the conversion of wetland to dry land at Choornikkara.
The investigation earlier revealed that it was Abu who allegedly forged the documents. Arun, an office assistant in the Land Revenue Commissionerate, is accused of abetting it by stamping it with original seals. Though the police arrested two persons for allegedly arranging a hideout for Abu, the court granted them bail. According to the police, Abu took a bribe worth Rs. 7 lakh while he paid the collaborator Arun Rs. 30,000 for forging documents for converting 71 cents categorised as wetland in revenue records into dry land....