A 38-year-old temple in Friends Colony East is facing demolition threat. Residents allege that the temple land has been taken over by a builder who wants to build a multi-storey apartment complex.
According to residents, SC Kishore, the original allottee of plot A-39 — where the temple exists — had donated the land to Aparna Ashram Trust — run by Dhirendra Brahmchari, the yoga guru of former prime minister Indira Gandhi. The temple was built in early 1970s.
As the transfer of land was not registered with the authorities, Kishore gave a special power of attorney to the builder to construct apartments on the plot.
“Initially, the land could not be registered in the name of the trust as the transfer of land was not permitted. Later, Brahamchari died in an air crash in 1994. Though there are papers of donation of land, it is still registered in the name of the original allottee. Why did the allottee keep quiet all these years if the land always belonged to him,” said Prabodh Mahajan, president, Friends Colony residents Welfare Association.
Residents alleged the builder filed a case against the DDA to get the plot vacated without telling the court that there is a temple on the plot. “It was only when he came with the police to take over the land that we came to know about the case. The temple’s main gate has now been closed,” said Anup Bhandari, a colony resident.
LR Verma, who has the plot’s special power of attorney, said Kishore had refused to donate the land in 1977 when the DDA had asked him to deposit R3.5 lakh and write a gift deed in the name of the trust.
“Kishore had even written to the DDA. The temple was demolished in 1978. In 1993, the DDA cancelled the allotment of land. Kishore moved the Court and in 2006, he got the allotment restored. In 2007, the court granted him the possession of the land,” Verma said.
“I am ready to construct another temple wherever the residents provide me land. But I can’t forgo this plot, We have been fighting for this plot for 40 years now,” Verma added.