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Financial fraud alleged in purchase of land for Ram temple in Ayodhya

Two politicians have sought a probe into the allegations

VHP supporters carry a cutout of Lord Ram during 'Dharma Sabha' at Ramlila Maidan in Delhi | PTI (File) Representational image| PTI

Two politicians have alleged financial irregularities amounting to crores in the purchase of land for the Ram temple in Ayodhya.

Sanjay Singh, Rajya Sabha MP of the Aam Aadmi Party and Pawan Pandey, former Samajwadi Party MLA from Ayodhya, on Sunday, alleged that a parcel of land purchased for the temple complex was part of a registered agreement for Rs 2 crore, but barely a few minutes later the same land was sold to the Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust for Rs 18. 5 crore.

In press conferences that happened almost simultaneously, both politicians—Singh in Lucknow and Pandey in Ayodhya—produced copies of the two land purchase agreements.

The first agreement is for the purchase of a property bearing the address, Mauja- Bagabijaisi Par- Haveli Awadh teh (tehsil)- Sadar distt (district)- Ayodhya, by one Sultan Ansari from one Kusum Pathak. The value of this property, spread over 1.208 hectares, as per the circle rate (the price per unit area of land fixed by government authorities) is listed as Rs 5.79 crore, but the selling price of the property is only Rs 2 crore. The stamp duty (which is calculated on the basis of the circle rate), paid for this sale, was done in two installments of Rs 40,23,920 and Rs 34,840. The time for this purchase is listed as 5.22 pm on March 18, 2021.

The second agreement, also on March 18, lists Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust as the buyer of the property with the aforementioned address and Sultan Ansari as the owner. The stamp duty paid for the purchase is Rs 1.29 crore and the land was sold for Rs 18.50 crore. The time listed on the stamp paper for this transaction is 5.11 pm on the same day.

Singh said, “How can the value of a property appreciate from Rs 2 crore to Rs 18 crore in five minutes? The Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation must examine this. Has the trust eaten up the money of Hindu devotees?”

Anil Kumar Mishra, a member of the trust, is one of the witnesses to both the agreements. Rishikesh Upadhyay, the mayor of Ayodhya, is also a common witness.

Pandey said, “It appears that the trust and the mayor were in full knowledge of this fraud. The money given for the temple comes from crores of Hindus. It cannot be used fraudulently.” 

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