IT notices to Akhadas, mutts, angry seers write to finance minister Sitharaman

  • A senior Akhil Bharatiya Sant Samiti functionary said that the saints and seers were given IT notices for money that they never received and threatened an agitation if action was not taken against officials responsible for the notices.
Samiti’s general secretary Swami Jeetendranand Saraswati said serving of the IT notices was akin to humiliation and a conspiracy against seers..(Representational Photo/PTI)
Samiti’s general secretary Swami Jeetendranand Saraswati said serving of the IT notices was akin to humiliation and a conspiracy against seers..(Representational Photo/PTI)
Updated on Mar 14, 2021 10:49 AM IST
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By HT Correspondent, Varanasi

Expressing anger over income tax department notices to 13 akhadas of Sanatan Dharma and all the major monasteries of Tirtharaj Prayagraj recently, the Akhil Bharatiya Sant Samiti termed the notices as a conspiracy to defame Sanatan Hindu Dharma and humiliate Hindu Dharmacharyas, on Saturday. The Samiti wrote to Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman demanding action against the officials who served the notice.

Akhil Bharatiya Sant Samiti is a joint platform of different akhadas and mutts (monasteries) of Sanatan Hindu Dharma.

In a press conference at the Samiti office, Swami Jeetendranand Saraswati, general secretary, Akhil Bharatiya Sant Samiti, said, "Certain work was done by the joint efforts of the state government and centre during Kumbh 2019, in Prayagraj, so that pilgrims may live there comfortably. At that time, UP government had done some work in 13 akhadas and major mutts to add facilities to ensure comfortable living to the pilgrims during their visit to the Kumbh. The Jal Nigam was the executing agency for this work and the UP government or centre provided the fund to it.”

He said that the akhadas and seers had nothing to do with that fund. They didn't get any funds for that work in their bank accounts. He said that despite that, the income tax department served a notice to the 13 akhadas and major mutts and seers for the fund which they never got.

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Saraswati said that through the notice, the seers have been asked to be present in person and give a clarification. “As an Indian citizen, it is our duty to give an account of the fund which we receive. But how can seers give an account of the fund which they never received?” he asked.

He claimed this was sheer “humiliation” of the seers and a “conspiracy” to defame Sanatan Dharma and that there was anger in the seer community. “The Samiti has written a letter to finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, demanding action against the officials concerned. If action is not taken against the officials who issued the notice, the seer community will take to the streets,” Saraswati said.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2021