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Seers present list of ‘fake babas’ to Yogi Adityanath, demand action

Informing the CM about ABAP’s decision to sound a countrywide alert against ‘fake babas’, the seers sought UP government’s support in their campaign.

lucknow Updated: Sep 12, 2017 16:40 IST
Manish Chandra Pandey/Pawan Dixit
Manish Chandra Pandey/Pawan Dixit
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Yogi Adityanath,Fake babas,Uttar Pradesh
Mahant Narendra Giri, president of Akhil Bhartiya Akhara Parishad, along with other saints met CM Yogi Adityanath and presented a list of 14 fake babas.(Pawan Dixit/HT Photo)

A 29-member delegation of saints from the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad (ABAP) on Tuesday met chief minister Yogi Adityanath to seek action against 14 self-styled godmen who have been blacklisted by the Parishad.

Informing the CM about ABAP’s decision to sound a countrywide alert against ‘fake babas’, the seers sought UP government’s support in their campaign.

After its first list of 14 ‘fake babas’ – that has names like Asaram Bapu, Gurmeet Ram Rahim and others – created a stir, ABAP now plans to come out with a bigger second list. It has asked all the temples, maths and other holy Hindu places to report “suspicious or fake babas”.

This is probably the first time when Hindu saints are seeking action against controversial godmen.

The CM reportedly assured the delegation that his government would ensure action fake godmen in Uttar Pradesh.

“We sought action against all those sullying our reputation. All saints, maths and temples have been asked to report all suspicious babas to us. The CM has assured us of his full cooperation,” head of ABAP Narendra Giri told HT after meeting the CM.

Adityanath, who is also the head priest of Gorakhnath Temple in Gorakhpur, was also informed about Akhara Parishad’s decision to ban the entry of ‘fake babas’ in the 2019 Ardh Kumbh.

The seers also demanded that Allahabad be renamed as Prayagraj.

Deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, who hails from Allahabad, was also present in the meeting.

ABAP, an umbrella body of all 13 ‘akharas’ or monastic orders, was set up by 8th century seer Adi Sankara to defend Hindu religion and its followers.

Though the delegation also discussed preparations for Ardh Kumbh, the focus was mostly on fake babas who are in the limelight since the conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim for raping his disciples.

There was no clarity on whether the Akhara Parishad would also ensure the entry of fake Shankaracharyas in important religious events like Kumbh and Ardh Kumbh.

Read more: Akhara Parishad panels to scrutinise conduct of seers across country

“We won’t let them (fake godmen) attend Kumbh as babas. They can come as common people but not as saints,” Giri said.

The Akhara Parishad has also been seeking a ban on the entry of ‘fake Shankaracharyas’ in events like Kumbh but it has not met with much success due to differences among various akharas. “We have taken up all the issues,” Giri said without going into the specifics.

Juna Akhara spokesman Vidyanand Saraswati said ABAP would also move the court if “fake babas” tried to seek legal intervention on the ban imposed by ABAP on their entry in Kumbh.

First Published: Sep 12, 2017 16:40 IST