The municipal corporation, Faridabad, (MCF) has sent a notice to the management of an ashram of self-styled godman Asaram at Bhankhari village, near NIT, Faridabad, to remove an alleged encroachment upon half-an-acre of government land or else the MCF will remove it at the cost of ashram.
Acting on a complaint of villagers that the ashram management had encroached upon over half-an-acre of land, the MCF had sent a notice under Section 261 of the Haryana Municipal Corporation Act, 1994. The ashram was constructed around 1988 on about 4 acres land bought from villagers.
The MCF commissioner, Suprabha Dahiya, told HT that on getting a complaint from the villagers about the alleged encroachment, an official team was sent to the said spot about a fortnight ago to measure the land and find out encroachment, if any. The team had to return empty handed as the situation became tense with the ashram inmates fearing backlash from villagers who had gathered in large numbers.
"We, thus, plan to send a team in a week or two to the ashram again along with police force to demarcate the ashram land and in case of an encroachment, we will demolish it," she said. There was only a boundary wall, which was alleged to have been built on government land and not any other structure on the allegedly encroached upon land, she said, adding that the ashram management had been given month's time to voluntarily remove the encroachment, if any.
Asaram (72), it may be recalled, is currently lodged in a Jodhpur jail after he was arrested about four months ago for allegedly sexually assaulting a minor girl at his Jodhpur ashram. His son, Narayan Sai, also a self-styled godman, is in Surat police's custody also in an alleged case of sexual assault.