Neyyattinkara tragedy: Vasantha’s land ownership claim still under scrutiny

Neyyattinkara tragedy: Vasantha’s land ownership claim still under scrutiny
Vasantha, who claims to be the owner of the disputed land.

Thiruvananthapuram: A week after the revenue department had confirmed that a 3.5 cent land, which had sparked a legal fight that ended in the suicide of a couple in Neyyattinkara last month, belonged to their neighbour, doubts about the mutation of the property still persist.

The Thiruvananthapuram district collector has now ordered the police to conduct a detailed probe into the mutation (pokkuvaravu) of the land and the claims made by its apparent owner Vasantha. (Mutation of a property is the transfer or change of title entry in revenue records of the local civic body.)

After an initial inquiry, the revenue department had submitted a report pointing out violation of rules in the transfer of land.

Earlier this month the Neyyattinkara tehsildar in his report to District Collector Navjyot Khosa had stated that the disputed land on which the deceased Rajan and family had lived was indeed purchased by Vasantha. The latter had moved the court against Rajan for illegal occupation of the property and is confident of proving the ownership of land before the court.

The complainant Vasantha had claimed that the land belonged to her and she possessed its title deed. She also claimed she has been paying land tax for the past 15 years.

With the police facing charges of apathy over the tragic suicide of the couple, the probe into the tragedy and the property ownership muddle was handed over to the Crime Branch.

The couple's now-orphaned children, Rahul and Ranjith, had given a statement holding the sub-inspector of police and neighbour Vasantha responsible for the death of their parents Rajan and Ambili. Rahul who is also an eye witness to the immolation had made it clear before the Crime Branch officials that his father had poured petrol on his head not with the intention of committing suicide but to resist the officials who had come there to evict them from the land.

Rajan and his wife Ambili, residents of Pongil Laksham Veedu Colony, had set themselves on fire in front of their house on December 22. The couple who sustained severe burns died on December 28 within a gap of hours.

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