The Aam Aadmi Party and the Samajwadi Party alleged fraud and corruption over the purchase of land by the Ram Janmabhoomi Trust on March 18 this year. This allegation came yesterday when Nripendra Misra, former Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister and the current head of the Ram Janmabhoomi Tirth Kshetra Trust’s Temple Construction Committee met the trustees and experts in Ayodhya for matters related to temple works.

Sanjay Singh, AAP’s in-charge for Uttar Pradesh, through a press conference in Lucknow said: “The piece of land in Ayodhya is registered with number 243, 244 and 246. Its value is Rs 5.80 crore. It was purchased from Kusum Pathak and Harish Pathak by Sultan Ansari and Ravi Mohan Tiwari for Rs 2 crore. The purchase had two witnesses — Anil Mishra, a member of the Ram Janmabhoomi Trust, and Rishikesh Upadhyay, who is the Mayor of Ayodhya. It was purchased at 7.10 pm. In the next five minutes, the same land was bought by Ram Janmabhoomi Trust and Champat Rai for Rs 18.5 crore from Ansari and Tiwari. Rs 17 crore was transferred through RTGS.”

However, the Trust issued a statement stating that there is an agreement between the current sellers and after the sale deed (bainama) on March 18th, they sold it to the Trust. It says:

“After the Supreme Court order, a lot of people started coming to Ayodhya to purchase land, and as the UP government is also purchasing a lot of land for development works, the land price increased suddenly. The land on which discussion has started is very close to the railway station and therefore, is at a very important location. All the lands purchased by the Trust are purchased at a price much lower than the market prices.” 

AAP’s Sanjay Singh demands a probe by the CBI or ED on this matter as it affects the religious beliefs of crores of people.

In a similar press conference in Ayodhya by Samajwadi Party leader Pawan Pandey asked “A piece of land was bought for Rs 2 crore in which trustees were witnesses. Did the land start giving out gold that it was bought for Rs 18.5 crore a few minutes later… The Trustee is the witness along with Mayor Rishikesh Upadhyay. I have the documentary proof.”

The Trust states that the propaganda by political people was misleading. The statement, which was signed by Champat Rai,claims that all the sale and purchase is done by proper means.“All the court fees and stamp paper purchase is done online and the amount is transferred into the bank account of the seller through online transaction,” it said. Champat Rai, the Secretary of Ram Janmabhoomi Trust,however, said : “I will study the matter. I will not comment at this point. Allegations never worry me.” 

As per the documents provided by AAP and SP leaders, the land where the fraudulent deal happened is a residential plot of 12,080 square metres. It states that the property is in Bagbijaisi village, Haveli Awadh, under Sadar tehsil in Ayodhya. 

While talking about the meeting of the Trust on Sunday, Champat Rai was clarifying the accounts of the trust by stating that: “Till March 31, we have deposited over Rs 3,200 crore in the banks. Over 4 crore people contributed Rs 10 each, and a little less than 4 crore people contributed Rs 100 each. Others contributed Rs 1,000 or more. Rs 80 crore was collected by direct bank transfer. Another Rs 60 lakh was collected by those coming to the Ram Janambhoomi when there was no lockdown.”