Aam Aadmi Party MP Sanjay Singh has written to Uttar Pradesh Police, demanding an inquiry against several persons, including Champat Rai, General Secretary, Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra, over the alleged corruption in the sale and purchase of land for the Ayodhya temple complex.
This followed the allegations made by Singh and Pawan Pandey, a former Samajwadi Party MLA from Ayodhya, on June 13 that land was purchased at more than nine times its initial price.
In a letter addressed to the Station House officer of Kotwali Nagar, Ayodhya, Singh has demanded a ‘thorough investigation’ to bring to book Rishkiesh Upadhyaya, the mayor of Ayodhya and Anil Kumar Mishra, a member of the Trust. Both these are witnesses to a property which was sold by one Kusum Pathak to Sultan Ansari. This property was then purchased by the Trust, on the same day.
In his complaint, Singh alleged that the circle rate of the area in question remains the same since 2017. A property which was valued at Rs 2 crores on March 18, 2021, was sold in approximately two equal parts, one for Rs 18.5 crores and the other for Rs 8 crores, thus paying 26.5 crores, at a 1,200 per cent increase in the value of the property on the same day, he said.
Singh alleged that Kusum Pathak and her husband Harish Pathak are “habitual offenders” wanted in several FIRs for defrauding the public through illegal schemes. They “have several FIRs registered against them for fraudulent sale/purchase of properties by creating forged documents. Both of these wanted criminals are dummy sellers placed by the Accused No. 1 (Champat Rai),” he said.
Sultan Ansari and Ravi Mohan Tiwari (a relative of Rishikesh Upadhyay) are also listed as accused for being “dummy purchasers of the land at an undervalued amount before the same is sold to the trust again at astronomical prices”.
Singh also demanded an investigation against the Sub-Registrar, Sadar, Ayodhya, who, “did not question the patently fraudulent deals which do not mention the chain of ownership nor does it mention RTGS details”.
The letter demands immediate arrest and freezing of bank accounts of Rishikesh Upadhyay, Anil Kumar Mishra and Champat Rai, who, Singh alleged, have “grossly misused their position of power, along with other accused persons…”
Ever since the news of the accusation first broke, the fault lines in the Trust have become pronounced. Mahant Kamal Nayan Das, the successor of Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, the president of the Trust, had also expressed some apprehension over the issue and called for transparency. Gopal Das himself had opposed the formation of the Trust, emphasising that the construction of the temple be under the banner of the Sri Janmabhoomi Nyas which had been formed by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad in 1993.