In a significant move, the Himachal Pradesh Relief and Rehabilitation Department today took possession of more than 14 bighas of land from a trust of self-styled godman Asaram Bapu at Kunja Matralion village in the Paonta area of Sirmaur district.
Confirming that the trust has been dispossessed of 14.33 bighas of land, Paonta Tehsildar Balbir Garg told PTI that a team of R and R department led by Naib Tehsildar Ravinder Kanwar have vested the land in Government of India.
The operation to takeover the land and property developed on it passed off peacefully and there was no resistance or protest from the godman's followers, he said.
The property was initially owned by the Government of India and was purchased in an auction by one Jaikishan and Rajinder of Paonta in 1994 and later it was transferred through a gift deed in the name of the trust owned by Asaram Bapu, Garg said.
Meanwhile, the Custodian department reviewed the whole auction and registration process and it was found that the then Naib Tehsildar of Paonta, who had auctioned the land, was not authorised to do so, he said.
Consequently, the transfer of land was rejected and it was again reverted to its original owner, the Government of India, he added.
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