Hyderabad: The state government has tightened noose around senior TRS leader and former minister Etala Rajendar further on Monday with Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao ordering a comprehensive probe into the alleged encroachments of temple lands at Devarayamjal village of Shamirpet mandal in Medchal-Malkajgiri district.
While Eatala is already in the thick of controversy over encroaching assigned lands and yet to recover from the shock of removal from the Cabinet on Sunday, the state government issued orders to this effect on Monday.
According to the Government Order (GO) issued by Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, the state government had received several complaints about large scale encroachments and illegal transactions of lands belonging to Lord Seetha Rama Swamy temple located at Devarayamjal.
The GO stated that the endowments department is claiming that an extent of 1,521 acres belonging to the said temple had been encroached allegedly by Eatala and a few other individuals. It is reported that these individuals have unlawfully occupied large extents of temple lands in their own names as well as in benami names.
It is reported that the value of the land encroached is more than Rs 1,000 crore and the temple has been defrauded of such high-value properties. It has also been reported that large constructions have been made on these lands without any valid permissions and in flagrant violation of several laws.
“Besides gravely hurting the sentiments of the devotees and the donors, it is alleged that these actions constitute grave violations of several laws in force,” the GO said. Somesh Kumar said the government had ordered a detailed inquiry into the issue by a committee of officials comprising panchayat raj commissioner M. Raghunanandan Rao, Nalgonda District Collector Prashanth Jeevan Patil, Mancherial Collector Bharati Holikari and Medchal-Malkajgiri Collector Swetha Mohanty.
The committee has been asked to conduct a detailed enquiry and submit a report on the details of encroachers and the lands encroached upon; the nature of encroachment and present usage; details of documents possessed by the encroachers, violation of existing government regulations, extent of vacant land, extent of land under encroachment by the benamis and the influential persons behind them, extent of revenue loss to the temple and recommended action.
The committee was asked to submit a report to the government 'at the earliest' without specifying any timeframe.