Priest fights for protection of god’s land

Priest fights for protection of  god’s land
Highlights

A priest is running from pillar to post to take possession of prime temple land worth over Rs. 50 crore at Shamshabad along the Bangalore National Highway from encroachers despite having favourable orders from the High Court.The 8.09 acre prime land in Survey No. 697 at Siddhanti hamlet in Shamshabad mandal of Rangareddy district was given by the Nizam to the Sri Ramchandraji Swamy Devasthanam San

Hyderabad: A priest is running from pillar to post to take possession of prime temple land worth over Rs. 50 crore at Shamshabad along the Bangalore National Highway from encroachers despite having favourable orders from the High Court.The 8.09 acre prime land in Survey No. 697 at Siddhanti hamlet in Shamshabad mandal of Rangareddy district was given by the Nizam to the Sri Ramchandraji Swamy Devasthanam Sangam Mutt for maintaining a Hanuman temple.

The land was used for agriculture purposes and the revenue generated from it was being used to perform daily rituals at the temple. The land value in the area has been soaring following the construction of the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. A few politically influential people managed the temple authorities and made sale agreements on the Inam lands of the temple, which is prohibited under law.

Several devotees have been demanding the State government to take over land from these encroachers and take action against those involved in the fraud. Even the Lokayukta Court issued a directive in 2011 asking the Endowments Department to take appropriate action against encroachers and protect the remaining vacant land. But the response from the concerned officials of the Departments of Revenue and Endowments were not encouraging.

The petitioner, who is the care-taker of the Mutt in Langar Houz and also the chief of Vishwa Ved Vedanta Sanskrit Seva Samithi, Kamlesh Das Maharaj said that the Endowments department can set things right if it wants. He said that the High Court made the RDO, Ranga Reddy Joint Collector and MRO as parties and asked them to safeguard the temple land by taking up fencing.

He further alleged that the Peethadhipati of Mutt, who is facing suspension from the department, Mahant Balveer Das Maharaj, colluded with local politicians and sold away the mutt land to various people.Kamlesh Das Maharaj said, “Muttadhipatis have no right to sell temple lands. The RDO too has given his report stating that the land transfer was illegal and declared the land as encroached.”

He had pleaded with the Endowments department on numerous occasions to take back the land, but officials were reluctant to initiate action for reasons best known to them. He said that the High Court had given orders to take up fencing of the government land almost ten months back.

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