Himachal takes back land from Baba Ramdev

Shimla: In swift action against yoga guru Baba Ramdev, the Himachal Pradesh government Friday took back possession of a chunk of prime land allotted to him in 2010 by the then BJP government for setting up his Patanjali Yogpeeth’s branch, an official said.

“The government took over the possession of the land allotted to Baba Ramdev in Solan district,” Deputy Commissioner Meera Mohanty told IANS.

A meeting of the state cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, Tuesday decided to cancel the allotment of 96.5 bighas of land near Sadhupul in Solan to Ramdev as there were violations of statutory provisions in land allotment.

Ramdev trusts structure at disputed site

The land originally belonged to the erstwhile royal family of Patiala, to which former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh belongs.

The entire property, comprising a building raised by the Baba Ramdev’s trust, has been got vacated and returns to the custody of the government, said an official, who was part of the team that got its possession back.

“Now the process is on to compile the property’s assets,” he added.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government gave the land to the yoga guru for a one-time lease payment of Rs.17 lakh for 99 years at a token annual fee of Re.1.

The order issued to Patanjali Yogpeeth Friday says “the government has revoked the lease so granted and you are no more lessee over the land. You are, therefore, directed to hand over the possession of the land and the buildings immediately to the undersigned as per the directions of the district magistrate, Solan dated Feb 22”.

“We have handed over the possession of the entire property to the government,” said Laxmi Dutt Sharma, state in-charge of the Bharat Swabhiman Trust, an outfit headed by Ramdev.

On Baba Ramdev’s scheduled visit to Patanjali Yogpeeth in Solan district Feb 27, he said he is reaching the state as per his scheduled date. “The venue of his visit will now be fixed,” he added.

Earlier, the yoga guru was coming to inaugurate Patanjali Yogpeeth’s first phase, built at a cost of Rs.7.5 crore.

The government Thursday said there was no ban on Ramdev’s entry into the state.

“No instructions have been issued regarding ban on entry of Baba Ramdev into the state,” Chief Secretary S. Roy said in a statement here.

Photo: Amit

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