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Ram Temple Trust Struck One More Deal, Bought 1.03-hectare Plot for Rs 8 Cr from Owners: Report

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

In a statement put out on Tuesday, Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust had laid emphasis on the transparency of the deal and also explained the price difference of the plot of land in Ayodhya.

Two days after the Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust took to Twitter to issue a factual report on the controversial land purchase deal in Ayodhya, a new report claimed that the Trust purchased two parcels of prime land — 1.208 hectares and 1.037 hectares — in Ayodhya on March 18, 2021, at two different prices of Rs 18.5 crore and Rs 8 crore, respectively, from two different buyers.

According to Indian Express, official records show that the Trust purchased a 1.208 hectares plot for Rs 18.5 crore from Sultan Ansari and property dealer Ravi Mohan Tiwari. The two had purchased the plot from the original owners — Harish Pathak and Kusum Pathak — for Rs 2 crore.

But the Trust struck another plot deal the same day — of 1.037 hectares — directly from the Pathaks for Rs 8 crore, the Indian Express reported.

The newspaper said it verified the documents available on Integrated Grievance Redressal System – Uttar Pradesh (IGRS-UP), as per which “two parcels make up the entire land collectively identified by Gata Numbers 242, 243, 244 and 246, and are part of the agreement signed in September 2019 between Harish Pathak and Kusum Pathak and nine other persons including Sultan Ansari. The consideration amount for this was fixed at Rs 2 crore.”

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In a statement put out by the Trust on Tuesday, it had laid emphasis on the transparency of the deal and also explained the price difference of the plot of land in Ayodhya. It said the plot of land is located next to the road approaching the Ram Janmbhoomi Mandir and is of premium value.

The report issued was in response to the charges levelled against the Trust by Aam Aadmi Party’s Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh and Samajwadi Party leader Pawan Pandey who alleged that the general secretary of the trust, Champat Rai had purchased a piece of land worth Rs 2 crore at an inflated price of Rs 18.5 crore.

According to the two opposition leaders, Sultan Ansari on March 18 purchased the land in Bag Bjaisi village that falls under Sadar tehsil of Ayodhya district and measuring 1.208 hectares from its original owner Kusum Pathak, the wife of Harish Kumar Pathak for Rs 2 crore which was sold to Champat Rai on the same day by Sultan Ansari for a price of Rs 18.50 crore.

Earlier on Monday, Congress called for a Supreme Court-monitored probe into the purchase deal. Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala alleged that the land deal was a ‘big scam’ committed using funds collected from devotees and urged the Prime Minister to answer the nation. This was termed by the BJP as an attempt to ‘defame’ and ‘derail’ the temple construction.

The allegations were further refuted by the Trust who in an earlier statement said that the current sellers had a registered agreement years ago at a price. They sold the land to the Trust after the sale deed on March 18.

“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 land purchased by the Trust is purchased at a price much lower than the market price." the statement read.

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