First govt official arrested, but Shetty gets bail

THE GOAN NETWORK | JUNE 25, 2022, 12:08 AM IST


The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing fraudulent land deals on Friday made its first arrest of a government employee but suffered a setback when Mapusa JMFC's court granted bail to Vikrant Shetty the first accused it had netted on Sunday last.

Dhiresh Naik, an employee of the Archives and Archaeology Department, was arrested for his complicity in cases of fraudulent transfer of properties and was remanded to four days of police custody by a court. The nature of his involvement has not been revealed.

Another employee of the Archives department, one Shivanand Madkaikar, was also interrogated by the SIT but he has not yet been arrested.

Meanwhile, Shetty who was arrested last Sunday, secured bail on Friday from the Mapusa JMFC's court. Shetty was arrested for the fraudulent sale and transfer of a piece of land in Assagao.

According to Shetty's legal counsel, the JMFC has imposed severe conditions while granting bail including requiring him to report to the SIT for eight days. He has also been asked to furnish bail bonds and sureties of amounts proportionate to the value of the land he is alleged to be involved in their illegal sale or transfer.

Earlier on Wednesday, the SIT had also arrested St Inez resident Mohammed Shafi (45) in the same Assagao case in which Shetty had been arrested. Shafi has confessed his involvement in at least three cases of illegal land transfer using forged documents, the SIT has claimed.

Director General of Police (DGP) Jaspal Singh, IPS, has said that criminal cases related to land irregularities from across the State will be soon transferred to the SIT.

He said, there several cases related to land frauds registered at police stations across Goa and the setting up of the SIT will embolden people to register complaints.

Singh said, the SIT will also recommend amendments to existing laws, rules and procedures aimed at pre-empting such frauds related to land deals.

The SIT was set up by the State government last week after several cases of land sale/transfer using forged documents had come to light over several years.

The SIT is headed by Superintendent of Police (Crime) Nidhin Valsan, IPS, and besides police officers also consists of officials from the departments of revenue, archives and the State Registrar.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had said that nearly 60-70 such cases of illegal sale and transfer of land had come to the notice of the government over the last 10 years and more which prompted him to set up the SIT.

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