Two Opposition leaders have accused Shriram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust general secretary Champat Rai of buying a piece of land worth Rs 2 crore at an inflated price of Rs 18.5 crore for the Ram temple
premises in the matter of a few minutes. The allegations were levelled by Aam Aadmi Party Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh and a former minister in the Samajwadi government, Pawan Pandey.
Singh and Pandey have sought a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate into the land purchase for the temple premises, terming it a case of money laundering.
The leaders have alleged that Rai purchased the land at Rs 18.50 crore from the first purchaser, who had bought it minutes earlier on March 18, 2021, from its original owners for a sum of Rs 2 crore. The land measured 1.208 hectares and is located in Bag Bjaisi village under Sadar tehsil of Ayodhya
"Champat Rai, the general secretary of Shriram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust with the help of Trust's member Anil Mishra bought the land worth Rs 2 crore at Rs 18.5 crore. This is a case of money laundering and the government should get it probed by the ED and CBI," Singh told reporters in Lucknow.
SP's former Ayodhya MLA Pandey backed Singh and demanded a probe into the incident.
Singh quoted entries of the registered sale deed of the land to back his claim. He said the land was first purchased by Sultan Ansari on March 18, 2021, from its original owner Kusum Pathak, wife of Harish Kumar Pathak for a sum of Rs 2 crore. A few minutes later, the same land was purchased by Trust's general secretary Rai for Rs 18.50 crore from Ansari, Singh said, again quoting entries of the second sale deed showing the transaction between Ansari and Rai.
Singh alleged that Trust member Anil Mishra and Ayodhya mayor Hrishikesh Upadhyay testified the land sale deed as witnesses and were witnesses to the purchase of the land by Rai as the Trust's general secretary. "Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government must initiate a thorough probe by the CBI and ED, and the corrupt persons should be sent to jail, as it is the question of faith of crore devotees of Lord Ram, who have given their hard-earned money for the construction of the Ram temple," Singh said.
Rai strongly refuted the allegations levelled against him. "Allegations of even assassinating Mahatma Gandhi were levelled on us. We do not fear allegations. I will study the allegations levelled on us, and probe them," he said.
(With inputs from PTI)
(Edited by : Aditi Gautam)