Himachal takes back land from Ramdev

Himachal takes back land from Ramdev

Acting swiftly against yoga guru Baba Ramdev, the Himachal Pradesh government on 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,” said deputy commissioner Meera Mohanty. Chaired by chief minister Virbhadra Singh, a meeting of the state cabinet on Tuesday decided to cancel the allotment of 96.5 bighas of land near Sadhupul in Solan to Ramdev.

Violations of statutory provisions in land allotment was cited as the reason for the cancellation.

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

The entire property, comprising a building raised by Baba Ramdev’s trust, has been vacated and returned to the custody of the government. “Now the process is on to compile the property's assets,” said an official who was part of the team that got back the possession.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government had given 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 on 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.

Sharma said that Baba Ramdev’s visit to Patanjali Yogpeeth in Solan district on February 27 will not be hampered by the latest developments.  

Ramdev will be in the state to inaugurate Patanjali Yogpeeths first phase, built at a cost of Rs.7.5 crore. The government on Thursday said there was no ban on Ramdev's entry into the state.

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