Thiruvananthapuram: A plot owned by a Dalit family was fraudulently sold by a person on the pretext of leasing it out.
The accused Shaji, 45, was in dire need of money for his daughter’s marriage expenses and requested financial help from Sebastian, 48, of Puthan Veedu near Kollodu at Vellanad and his wife Pushpitha, 46. Since the Dalit family too was financially weak, they could not help him.Later, the accused arranged a person to take the family’s land on lease.

Sebastian and Pushpitha were made to believe that the lease agreement had to be registered at the sub-registrar office. Shaji prepared a sale deed intending to cheat Sebastian. At the sub-registrar office, when the registrar asked Sebastian whether he was willing to sell it or not, he realized that Shaji was trying to sell the property. But Shaji threatened and pressured Sebastian to sign the papers with a promise of returning the land in three months.
“I worked as a driver with Shaji and my salary was pending for months. He threatened to kill me and my family if I did not sign the sale deed. He threatened me with expulsion from my job and also wouldn’t allow me to work as a taxi driver anywhere in the district. I was forced to sign the document with a promise that the document would be returned,” said Sebastian.
The said property of 13 cents was sold in 2018 and the family waited for Shaji to return it.
Finally, Sebastian and Pushpitha approached police with a complaint, based on which Fort police began a probe.
“A case has been registered under sections of IPC 420 for cheating, 406 for criminal breach of trust and 506 for criminal intimidation and also under section 3 (1) (f) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The probe is underway,” said police.

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