Ram Temple Trust accused of fraud, land scam and money laundering

The allegation is that the land was first sold for Rs 2 Crore and then within five minutes was sold to the Ram Janmabhoomi Trust for Rs 18 Crore. Mayor of Ayodhya was a witness for both transactions

Ram Temple Trust accused of fraud, land scam and money laundering

NH Correspondent/Lucknow

Accusing the Ram Janmabhoomi Trust of engaging in a huge land scam and money laundering, both Samajwadi Party and Aam Aadmi Party on Sunday demanded an inquiry. The Trust secretary Champak Bansal told the media that they had been accused of assassinating even Mahatma Gandhi and hence were not bothered unduly by one more allegation.

AAP MP Sanjay Singh held a press conference in Lucknow while senior Samajwadi Party leader Pawan Pandey addressed reporters in Ayodhya alleging a scam of Rs 16.50 crore.

“The act of the members of the Trust has dealt a big blow to the faith of millions of Ram bhakts who have given donations for construction of the grand Ram temple at Ayodhya. The land deal papers clearly show how the Trust members misused their powers and purchased land paying a hefty amount, " Singh told a press conference here on Sunday.

He demanded that an ED and CBI probe should be done to punish the guilty.

In Ayodhya, Pawan Pandey, who had won assembly election in the city in 2007 but lost in 2012, presented the papers.

The allegation leveled by the two leaders was the same. They alleged that the deal was signed on March 18,2021. According to them, one Sultan Ahmed and Ravi Mohan Tiwari purchased land (Khata number 243/244/246) from one Kusum Pathak and Harish Pathak for Rs 2 crore. The market price of that land was said to be around Rs 5.80 crore.

They then sold the said land to the Ramjanmabhumi Tirth Kshetra Trust for Rs 18.50 crores and Rs 17 crores was transferred to the main owner Sultan Ahmed and Ravi Mohan Tiwari through RTGS. The whole process was carried out in a short time, said the AAP leader.

The alleged land, an area of 12080 sq meter or 1.208 hectare is situated at Bagbijasisi village under Haveli Awadh Pargana and in Sadar tehsil of Ayodhya. The witness in the deal was Dr Anil Mishra, Trust member and Rishikesh Upadhyay, Mayor, Ayodhya.

The AAP MP in his charges further says that it was surprising to note that the stamp duty by the Trust of Rs 1,29,49,860 was purchased at least 10 minute earlier than the stamp duty worth Rs 4,23,920 purchased for the first deal. The Trust purchased the stamps at 1711 hrs on March 18, 2021 while Sultan Ahmed purchased it at 1722 hrs on the same day.

"It is clearly a case of money laundering in which a property which had a market value of Rs 5.80 crore was first purchased for just Rs two Crore and then it was sold at Rs 18.50 Crore. The PM should punish the guilty people so that the faith of the people in Lord Ram remains," he said.

He also said that the purchase seems to be a fishy one and asked how the Trust approved the purchase within five minutes of the first transfer of the land.

When contacted, a Trust member said that the allegations are false and Trust will come up with a rejoinder. But he did not specify when.

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