A group of officials in the Revenue department is alleged to have connived with one of the largest plantation majors in Kerala at the behest of a former top bureaucrat. The Plantation majors is said to have called the meeting in a bid to buy support after they faced several reverses in the recent past.
It is alleged that the officials belonging to the unions affiliated to the Opposition Front had attended the meeting whereas the officials belonging to the ruling party had stayed away. Highly placed sources said that they had met in a starred hotel in the city.
A high ranking official, who also holds a top position in the opposition union in the secretariat, is alleged to be instrumental in ensuring that officials under him and others from the secretariat attended the meeting. This high ranking official is now embroiled in a controversy over land filling of a paddy field in Ernakulam. Apart from this, the top bureaucrat who recently retired from service is alleged to be the kingpin of all the dealings. It is alleged that it was on his behest that the high ranking official had arranged the meeting. This top ranking retired bureaucrat is known for many of the unholy dealings in his tenure. Moreover, it is a known fact that this official was not in good terms with the revenue minister and his team as they had questioned many of his activities. This official was known to be close to the Chief Minister.
Highly placed sources said that the plantation majors had told the officials that they should come up with reports supporting them for which many offers are said to have been given. As of now, several of the reports are against the plantations.
The plantation majors, who had called the meeting, are embroiled in several cases. The Special Land Resumption Office that was started for taking back all illegally held lands had a few months back taken back thousands of acres of land from these plantation majors.
Highly placed sources said that an estate mafia with the connivance of a few officials, including retired ones, are doing all dirty business in the state. Land had always been a controversial issue in the state and it is no secret that a few officials in the revenue department had taken sides in the dishonourable business.