M A I N   N E W S

HP Govt takes possession of Ramdev’s land
  Aide says action taken at Centre’s behest Patanjali Yogpeeth to move court
Tribune News Service & PTI

Sadhupul (Solan)/Dehradun, February 22
The Himachal Pradesh Government on Friday took possession of 28 acres of land allotted to yoga guru Ramdev’s Patanjali Yogpeeth for its upcoming centre at Kehlog village near Sadhupul in Solan district amidst huge police presence. Patanjali Yogpeeth will go to court against the government order.

Laxmi Dutt, state in-charge of Patanjali Yogpeeth, said they were invited by the previous BJP government to open a centre here. “We would take legal recourse against revocation of the lease by the state government. We have spent Rs 10 crore on building the centre and will seek compensation in our petition,” he said.

The BJP government in 2010 gave about 28 acres of land to Patanjali Yogpeeth for a payment of Rs 17 lakh and a 99-year lease at a token annual fee of Re 1. The Congress, while in the Opposition, had claimed that the land was valued at Rs 35.4 crore, but was allotted to Ramdev at a throwaway price.

Additional District Magistrate CP Verma handed over a copy of the orders issued by the Kandaghat SDM to Ramshehar Dutt Kaushik, co-incharge of the Yogpeeth’s Solan unit, and directed him to vacate the premises immediately.

As per the orders, the lease of 96.2 bighas (28 acres approximately) of land to Patanjali Yogpeeth’s Haridwar branch at Kehlog village on January 19, 2010, to set up a branch for medical science research, health tourism and production of herbs had been revoked. Hence, they were no longer the lessee of the said land and were directed to immediately handover possession of the building and land to the Kandaghat SDM.

The move may come as a blow to Ramdev, who is scheduled to arrive at Sadhupul on February 27 to inaugurate the first phase of the project.

A team of district administration officers comprising the Additional District Magistrate, Kandaghat Sub-Divisional Magistrate and Superintendent of Police took possession of Patanjali Yogpeeth’s upcoming centre around 3 pm. The possession was peaceful, with little protest from members of the Yogpeeth or locals. The Himachal Cabinet decided to revoke the land lease of the yoga guru as there were violations of land use norms. The land is located midway between Kandaghat and Chail and originally belonged to the erstwhile royal family of Patiala.

BJP general secretary Dr Rajiv Bindal criticised revocation of the land lease and said it was a blow to the locals. They would have benefitted by receiving treatment at the dispensary, while unemployed youth could have got jobs at the centre.

In Dehradun, Ramdev’s close aide Balkrishna accused the Congress government in Himachal of cancelling the lease at the behest of the Centre. He claimed the particular centre had provided direct and indirect employment to thousands of unemployed youths of nearly 40 villages in the area.

Balkrishna said there was nothing wrong in giving the land on a token lease to the Yogpeeth as it was to be used for people's welfare and not commercial purpose. "The Patanjali Yogpeeth centre at Solan is to be inaugurated on February 27 and both me and Baba Ramdev will attend the occasion," he said. 





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