SIT arrests Karnataka man for land grab in Goa

A day after Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant strengthened the Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up to probe cases of land grab in the state, the SIT arrested a man it described as the “one of the alleged kingpin” in the alleged scam running into hundreds of crores of rupees. This is the second arrest since the SIT was constituted on June 15.

The SIT on Wednesday arrested Mohammed Shafi (45) of Chitradurga in Karnantaka, who lived in Panaji. He had, the SIT said, “confessed” that he was involved in several illegal land transfers.

According to the SIT led by Superintendent of Police, Crime Branch, Nidhin Valsan, Shafi was involved in cases of illegal land transfer, land grabbing using forged documents. The SIT stated that Shafi was earlier involved in three similar cases of illegal land grabbing or land transfer.

On Tuesday, the Chief Minister added 22 more members to the Special Investigation Team (SIT).

For the first time, the Goa government constituted a SIT on June 15 to probe cases of illegal land grab. The seven-member SIT also included members from state’s archeology department and the state registrar.

On Saturday, the SIT arrested one Vikrant Shetty for his alleged involvement in using forged documents for carrying out illegal land transfers. The investigations conducted so far, according to the Goa government, have revealed that about 60-70 properties in North Goa were “transferred in the name of prospective buyers by way of forged documents”.

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