Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s Dera Sacha Sauda ashram in Puri encroaches upon government land in Puri-Konark Marine Drive area the government will reclaim it, an official said on Wednesday.
The official said that the Puri district administration was in the process of reclaiming the 12 decimal government land encroached upon by the Dera ashram.
A five-member team of the Revenue Department headed by Puri’s Tehsildar measured the ashram land located in the Marine Drive area on Wednesday and found irregularities.
Revenue Minister Maheswar Mohanty, who is an MLA from Puri, directed to measure the land of the ashram following complaints from local people about the encroachment of government land.
“We have received a detailed inquiry report from the Tehsildar. They have encroached nearly 12 decimal government land. The Tehsildar has already initiated a case against them and eviction notice will be sent and we will reclaim the land,” said Puri Sub-Collector Madhu Sudan Das.
Sources said Dera Sacha Sauda had purchased four acres of land in 2004 to construct ashram over it. However, it encroached the adjoining government land and some private land and constructed the ashram over seven acres.
Notably, Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh has been sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment in connection with rape cases in his ashram in Haryana.
Meanwhile, the land owners, who have sold the land to the ashram, demanded of the Puri district administration to hand back the land to them.