The land mafia in Kerala, which has already spread its tentacles at all levels and have infiltrated the government in even dictating major decisions, is alleged to be moving ahead to get their men in top positions, including that of the private secretary to Revenue Minister.
The post of private secretary fell vacant after D Saju, who was the secretary to the minister passed away the other day. Soon after the death of Saju, sources said that the land mafia has started their move to get a man of their choice in that position.
Normally, the appointment to the post of private secretary is taken at the political level, especially by the political party to which the minister belongs. The land mafia is alleged to have spread its wings even within the party.
The land mafia, who even have the blessings of some of the former and present revenue officials, is said to have already picked up a few names for not only the post of private secretary but also to some other key posts in the revenue department. It is also alleged that even the names of a few former IAS officers are also doing the rounds.
At any cost they only want people who will be party to their illegal land dealings to the top posts. They want men who will support and frame policies and make decisions for them.
Officials who have taken a stand against encroachments and illegal constructions have always faced the ire of land mafia, politicians and even officials. The officials who had taken bold steps were always sideline and even shunted out from their posts. No one can ever forget Devikulam sub collector Sriram Venkitaraman, who was shunted out from Idukki for taking stern action against encroachers. Recently another Devikulam sub collector Renu Raj had to face the wrath of an MLA for taking action against encroachments and illegal constructions.
Even before Saju’s death, the land mafia with the connivance of some officials were trying to have their grip in all top positions. Saju has always been known for taking bold steps against those who indulge in illegal land dealings. He was a person who did not yield to any one and had always taken forward the stand of the revenue minister in dealing with land mafia. As he always took very bold decisions regarding encroachments, he was in the bad books of land mafia. There were also times when the officials, including former revenue secretary, were in conflict with the former private secretary for some of his bold steps.