IT WAS a heady mix of dharma, dharna and drama on Saturday morning. Allahabad residents sat up when they saw inspector general, Railways, RN Singh staging a sit-in at the Bade Hanuman temple near Sangam. He was protesting against the alleged beating up of some of his men by followers of Baghambari Gaddi Mahant Acharya Narendra Giri. The IG and his men raised no slogans, but sat chanting bhajans.
The Mahant looks after the Bade Hanuman temple, under the Baghambari Trust.
A big chunk of trust land is at the root of the differences between the Mahant and the IG. The top cop claimed the land as his own.
But, the Mahant was ready with a riposte. He told media persons that he had given a good sum of money to the IG for charitable work in the Sangam area, but there were demands for more and more funds.
Earlier, the IG, who is said to be involved in socio-religious charitable work associated with the Baghambari Math, had been on good terms with the Mahant. Acharaya Narendra Giri said differences arose when he realised that the IG was trying to usurp the trust property.
He alleged that the IG had already usurped trust property in another district and was now eyeing property in the city by using his clout. On his part, the IG, who was in plainclothes, refused to speak to the media.
The incident caused resentment in saffron circles. Sants have decided to rally round the mahant, accusing the IG of misusing his authority and official position.
Swami Hari Chaitanya of the Teekar Mafi Ashram told a TV news channel that such acts by people in high places would not be tolerated.
“We will come out on to the streets seeking justice,” he warned.