The three-member inquiry committee constituted by the Special Commissioner of Endowments to investigate about the irregularities in Simhachalam temple and MANSAS lands, has gathered information and evidence to prove a shocking disclosure that 748 acres belonging to Simhachalam temple were deleted from 22A of the records (2016).
On Tuesday, The committee completed its inquiry into the temple lands and on Wednesday, it will go to Vizianagaram to probe the issue of the MANSAS lands.
Deputy Commissioner E Pushpavardhan, Regional Joint Commissioner D Brahmaramba, and another member were part of the committee who visited Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple in the morning and verified the land records.
“We have gathered all the evidence with regard to irregularities in the land records. The deletion of lands from Section 22A, which prohibits sale and fresh registration, was done in 2016. Though the temple executive officer was not empowered to delete the lands from 22A, the then EO had done it,” Pushpavardhan said as reported by TNIE.
The Endowment Commissioner or the Endowments Tribunal are the only ones entitled to make any kind of changes in the land records, if required. The available evidence proves that the lands were deleted from Section 22A in 2016, the inquiry officer said there was correspondence between the EO and the office staff and signatures of the then EO, superintendent and other office staff on the files. Special teams were earlier deputed to make physical inspection of the lands, whose records were tampered.
There have been many allegations against the Chandrababu Naidu government of capturing and forcibly encroaching the temple lands, tracing back to 2012; LG Polymers company has been given an occupation of around 215 acres, which originally belonged to Simhachalam Devasthanam. Under the Act, a conditional exemption was granted to the company for a limited period to retain the land, which had been extended from time to time. During the State under Naidu’s regime, thevalue of the land under the occupation of LG Polymers would be in several hundreds of crores of rupees and the State could not afford to take it casually and allow its ownership claim on the land slip away.
A Twitter user named ‘BanyanTree’, opening the pole of Chandrababu regime, tweeted and accused the ‘TDP mafia’ to have captured lands worth 10,000 crores belonging to the temple of Lord Simhadri Appanna.
Lands worth 10,000 crores of Lord Simhadri Appanna Temple, Vizag, Andhra, were Stolen by TDP Mafia @ncbn and co.@TimesNow @timesofindia @IndianExpress @the_hindu @ndtv @livemint @Justice_4Vizag #Vizag #Simhachalam pic.twitter.com/BMQdLC4XsE
— Banyan Tree (@showmanonhigh) June 27, 2021
This is not the only controversy regarding the land; back in 2016 there were previous allegations of 30 Hindu temples being demolished during former Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu’s regime (five of them being fairly big temples in Vijayawada in the last one week). Thus, Naidu is bound to face the combined wrath of the BJP and Sangh Parivar organizations such as the VHP and the seers in all three levels: political, religious and civic.
Although proper investigation is still underway, committee member Pushpavardhan states that “No constructions have been taken up in the said land and the entire land in question is located in Visakhapatnam district,’’ he said, adding that the inquiry went on smoothly as the land records of both Simhachalam temple and MANSAS were digitized. The committee is expected to complete the inquiry into MANSAS lands in one single day.
During Naidu’s tenure, a lot of illegal destruction of temples had followed by illegal encroachment, allegedly for personal profits. Along with this, a case of Amaravati land scam is also previously registered against the former CM of Andhra Pradesh. Investigations are underway to solve the cases.