Armed with the report submitted to Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao by Medak District Collector A Harish, which confirmed that Jamuna Hatcheries owned by the family members of Etela Rajender had encroached in about 66 acres of assigned land, the government decided to sack him from the Council of Ministers. A letter to the effect has been sent to Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan by the Chief Minister.
Sources said that the Chief Minister waited for Etela to resign on his own since he was a senior minister and has been with the party for over two decades but Etela refused to do so. The Chief Minister had on Saturday divested him from the portfolio of Medical and Health. Rajender, however, refused to react to this development. Sources say that the possibility of Rajender resigning from the Assembly and forcing a bypoll is not ruled out.
The Chief Minister felt that since the official report had clearly indicated that his family had violated the Telangana Assigned Lands (POT) Act and Conservation of Forests Act, action should be taken against him. The land which he is said to have encroached on is likely to be taken back by the government. The report that was submitted to the Chief Secretary on Saturday was sent to the Chief Minister on Sunday. The report said that about 21 villagers had alleged that lands were taken illegally without compensating them duly and roads were laid through their assigned lands, besides constructing compound walls denying them the right of way to reach their respective lands.
Minister Etela Rajender and his family members not only encroached 66 acres of assigned and ceiling land, but also violated numerous laws, including the Telangana Assigned Lands (POT) Act, the Conservation of Forests Act and the Telangana Agricultural Land (Conversion for Non-Agricultural Purposes) Act, among others. Further, they caused losses to the State exchequer, the report said.
The Collector in his report stated that the field survey conducted by the team observed that about 66 acres of assigned lands in survey number 97 of Hakimpet village and in survey numbers 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82 and 130 of Achampet village were illegally occupied. The officials have initiated the process to resume these lands and have already erected signages taking possession of these lands.
The Medak District Forest Officer submitted that a kachcha road was constructed by felling trees without any prior permission and a detailed enumeration of the trees felled by the company was underway for further action.
It was also found that Jamuna Hatcheries constructed sheds, platforms and other structures without obtaining non-agricultural land conversion proceedings as per the Telangana Agricultural Land (Conversion for Non-Agricultural Purposes) Act, causing huge losses to the State exchequer. The authorities concerned have been directed to initiate due process and recover relevant charges under the Revenue Recovery Act.