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Police to act tough on landgrabbers

To check the `pahelwan' culture, the police, at a recent meeting with the district Collectors of Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy, requested them to refer all encroachment cases to them, writes Vikram Sharma.

With externment (banned from the city) of landgrabbers and anti-social elements from Hyderabad serving no purpose, the city and Cyberabad police have decided to crack the whip on them jointly. They now want the landgrabbers to be externed not only from Hyderabad, but also from Cyberabad, which, the police feel, will go a long way in controlling land-grabbing. The police also want to step up surveillance on landgrabbers and pursue cases against them on a regular basis.

"Now landgrabbers, once externed from the city, are setting up base in Cyberabad and operating from there. Therefore, we spoke to the Cyberabad police and decided to extern such anti-social elements from both Hyderabad and Cyberabad," according to the Additional Commissioner of Police, A.K. Khan.

Taking a serious view of the `pahelwan' culture, especially in the old city, the police, at a recent meeting with the district Collectors of Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy, requested them to refer all encroachment cases to them.

Jurisdiction

"Unlike earlier, when Inspectors used to deal with cases at their level, we have now made the Zonal DCPs responsible for each case in their jurisdiction. Both Inspectors and ACPs will now take to the DCP every complaint on landgrabbing," Mr. Khan said. Already, the police have identified 16 gangs involved in landgrabbing. "We will make externment compulsory. In case of encroachment of Government land, we will make it mandatory to invoke provisions of the Land Grabbing (prevention)." Preventive detentions and booking of cases under the Land Grabbing Act will also be taken up regularly in case of encroachment of Wakf Board properties and private lands. The cases will be reviewed at the Commissioner level once in a month, for which officials of the MCH, HUDA and Revenue will be present.

The police have written to the Wakf Board and Endowment officials seeking their help on encroachment on their properties. However, sources attribute the delay to the police being reportedly hand-in-glove with the landgrabbers.

The Task Force and Special Branch wings of the city police have been asked to keep a watch on landgrabbers. The police appear to be coming out with stringent measures in the wake of increasing landgrabbing, especially in the old city. The recent episodes of family members of landgrabbers approaching the court alleging "police highhandedness" also seem to have hit the morale of the police.

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