BHOPAL: Congress-backer and self-styled godman Computer Baba's ashram built by encroaching on 46 acres of land in Madhya Pradesh’s commercial capital Indore was demolished by an Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) team on Sunday.
Not only was the religious retreat of the godman razed by the civic body’s team, but the Baba along with six others were taken into custody by police and sent to Indore Central Jail for encroaching the land as well as creating law and order problems during the demolition process.
The Sunday morning development unfolded three days after a similar demolition drive by a Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) team at the college owned by controversial Congress MLA Arif Masood in Bhopal’s Khanugaon area. Masood, importantly, was recently arrested (but released later on bail) for leading a massive protest against French President Emmanuel Macron in the MP capital in violation of COVID-19 safety norms.
Condemning the demolition, ex-CM and Congress’s Rajya Sabha member Digvijaya Singh termed the development as the height of political vendetta by the BJP government in the state. Singh is slated to meet Computer Baba at the Indore Central Jail on Monday.
Official sources in Indore confirmed the demolition of the Baba’s ashram in Jamorhi village for encroaching upon around 46 acres of land, which was estimated to be worth around Rs 75 crore to Rs 80 crore.
The demolition by the IMC and Indore district administration team happened two months after the controversial Baba was issued notices by the administration to clear the land.
According to ADM Indore Ajaydev Sharma, the land was demarcated in 2016 for building a cow shelter, but over the years it was encroached upon by the self-styled godman, by developing an ashram equipped with air-conditioned comfort. The religious retreat was bulldozed following the Indore district collector’s order.
The land will now be used to develop a cow shelter and an action plan to develop it as a religious centre too would be put in place.
Importantly, the controversial Baba was among the opposition Congress’s star campaigners for November 3 crucial 28 assembly by-polls in MP. He had also campaigned for the Congress in the 2018 assembly polls and the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
As a reward for backing the Congress, he was appointed as the head of the Narmada-Kshipra-Mandakini river trust during the erstwhile Kamal Nath government in 2019.
Earlier, in April 2018, the same godman was among the five Hindu babas to have been accorded Minister of State (MoS) status by then Shivraj Singh Chouhan government in Madhya Pradesh.
However, six months later, Computer Baba had quit from the post, accusing then CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan of ditching the cause of river Narmada.