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Row over Minister’s lands

Staff Reporter

KAKINADA: The Hindu Dharma Jagarana Samiti (HDJS) staged a dharna in front the Regional Joint Commissioner of Endowments’ office here on Wednesday, demanding cancellation of auction of a piece of land measuring 78 cents which was donated to Sri Subrahmanyeswara Swamy temple in Lakshmi Polavaram village in Ravulapalem mandal of the district.

The agitators argued that the land was put up for auction on October 23 without the prior approval of the higher officials of the Endowments Department and accused the Small Scale Industries Minister Gollapalli Surya Rao’s family of cornering it for their personal use, by preventing others from posting their bids.

The Samiti also alleged that the Minister’s sons and their henchmen assaulted a fact-finding team comprising the VHP, RSS and HDJS leaders who visited the temple on Sunday last.

The objections of some farmers who were cultivating the land were ignored and all those who opposed the auction were arrested under false cases.

Media personnel who went to cover the incident were also allegedly beaten up by followers of the Minister.

The HDJS leaders submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner of Endowments here demanding cancellation of the auction and ordering an inquiry into the entire episode. They regretted police inaction.

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