Close on the heels of the demolition notices issued by the Ahmedabad district collector and the Sabarkantha revenue officer, the Navsari district collector on Thursday issued notice to the Asaram Bapu Ashram in Navsari in south Gujarat asking it to immediately vacate encroached land in and around the ashram.
Official sources said, the Asaram Ashram was allocated about 10 acres by the State government 10 years back. But it encroached upon another 18,000 square metres. The district collector’s notice gives the Ashram authorities three days time, after which the government will use force to get the land vacated.
Religious leader Asaram Bapu, who often flaunted strong connections with top-level BJP and Vishwa Hindu Parishad leaders, was served a notice by the Ahmedabad district collector earlier this month to vacate 67,000 square metres of land in and around his Motera ashram on the outskirts of Ahmedabad.
Even before the authorities began demolition of unauthorised constructions, Himmatnagar mamlatdar (revenue officer) B.S. Prajapati served a notice on Bapu’s son Narayan Sai and 14 others to vacate over 70 hectares of encroached land in Gambhoi, Rajapur and Pedhhmala villages in the Himmatnagar taluka, district headquarter of Sabarkantha within seven days
According to Mr Prajapati, the government held an inquiry on a complaint filed by villagers in April this year. “The government has found the complaints to be genuine.”