ASSAGAO: The tiny vaddo of Badem tucked into leafy recesses of the larger Assagao village, totally gentrified by its out-of-town “residents” from the metros with their sprawling villas or under-construction apartment blocks and restored fancy restaurants, has a grim story.
This Assagao hamlet has been hit hard as 28 land-grabbing cases have been recorded in the village with most senior citizens falling victim to fraudsters.
Here are some of those shocking stories O Heraldo recalls. Eight-six-year-old Eliterio Carvalho, who resides alone in his residence at Badem, has been robbed of three properties. Eliterio suffers from dementia, and taking advantage of his mental health, the fraudsters have allegedly robbed him of 3 properties.
When O Heraldo team visited his residence on the issue, he said that he does not recall everything but added that he knows his three properties have been transferred.
In his case, his first property was grabbed in 2020 allegedly by Branca Cassiana Diniz and Antoneta Fernandes’ family and this matter is pending in the civil court. Taking advantage of his mental condition, the properties were cleared.
‘Sold’ by her even before she was born
Juliet Monteiro, another affected resident of Assagao said that her sale of the deed was done when she was not even born.
Juliet said, “This property was purchased by my grandfather and for the past 90 years, the same has been in our family’s name. For generations, we have been looking after it, but the property is now fraudulently transferred where the fraudsters even managed to do the mutation and deleted the names on From I and XIV form of my 86-year-old mother’s name who is still alive, my sister and myself. We have been proclaimed dead, and one of the fraudsters inherited the property from us.”
“This deed of sale was done when I was not even born. My mother has been mentioned as my sister and we are mentioned as children of my grandfather. Generations have been skipped and then it is shown that all three are dead when we are still alive”, Juliet said.
Famous case of two women “marrying” each other
Hear this story in Matilda Coutinho own words. “The property, which is fraudulently grabbed, was originally owned by my great grandfather’s in-laws which had two owners. But the people who have fraudulently sold the property did not know that this property has two female owners and have shown that this property is owned by a couple. They mentioned my mother-in-law as male, married to the lady, who owns the other part of the property. They made two women marry each other. My mother-in-law died in 1995 and in 1996 they did a sale deed with her signature and thumb impression. Till April 2021, the property was in my mother-in-law’s name but after March the names were changed on Form I and XIV,” Matilda Coutinho another victim said.
“For me, it is shocking as when my father died, we filed inventory proceedings to transfer the property from my father to my mother and it took us (two sisters) nearly a year to do the paperwork, but these fraudsters were able to complete the procedure within a month. So definitely there are lots of people involved in this and we hope to solve this issue as soon as possible and provide relief to the affected people”, she added
All these land-grabbing affected people have a plea- not to endanger people’s lives and return back the integrity and credibility of the village back to the villagers.
But with the SIT not even filing chargesheets in the investigation into these cases for a year, who do the villagers turn to?