Updated: December 23, 2021 8:08:42 am
This August, Anuj Jha, then District Magistrate of Ayodhya, referred to the revenue court, a case based on a complaint by a Dalit resident that his land was among 21 bighas illegally bought by the Maharishi Ramayan Vidyapeeth Trust. Even as that case is in court, relatives of at least three officials probing the trust bought land near the temple from MRVT, as reported by The Indian Express Wednesday.
Records investigated by The Indian Express show that Jha is also one of the officers – there are at least 15 in all — whose relatives bought land in Ayodhya after the Supreme Court verdict in November 2019 cleared the temple.
Records show that on May 28, 2020, a plot measuring 320.631 sq m in Mughalpura in Ayodhya, barely 1 km from the Ram temple site, was registered in the name of Badri Jha, father of Anuj Jha, a UP IAS officer. The cost: Rs 23.40 lakh.
Anuj Jha was DM of Ayodhya from February 21, 2019 until October 23, 2021. He is now Director, Panchayati Raj in the state government and is based in Lucknow.
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When contacted, Anuj Jha told The Indian Express: “Ayodhya is a religious place and my father is an elderly person. If he wants to live here in his last years, what is wrong in it? Can’t he buy any land here? There is nothing wrong in it.”
Records show that Badri Jha bought the “residential (non-agriculture)” land from one Mansharam Singh of Tulsinagar, Ayodhya. The address of Badri Jha mentioned in the registry is his village in Madhubani, Bihar.
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