After leopard skin and encroachment cases, now Himachal’s VVIP Baba almost killed an elderly woman with sword
The priest enjoys high profile connections with Himachal’s cabinet ministers like HP Forest Minister, Thakur Singh Bharmauri, Minister HP Social Justice and Empowerment, Dhani Ram Shandil, and HP Health and Family Welfare Minister Kaul Singh Thakur
SOLAN– The VVIP priest (Baba) Amardev at the Shri RamLok Mandir in Rurra village of Tundal Panchayat in Kandaghat, Solan district, Himachal Pradesh is again in controversy. The so called ‘Baba Amardev’, the incharge of the temple, who enjoys high profile connections with HP Government’s cabinet ministers, police officers, and administrative officers, reportedly inflicted serious injuries to a 52-years-old woman with a sword during arguments. The woman received over 14 stitches on her back. As per reports, one of her arms was also fractured. The villagers thrashed the priest after seeing the woman bleeding. The villagers of Bisha, Basha, Tundal and Sakori panchayat have opened the front against the priest after he was reportedly given VVIP treatment by the police instead of arresting him.
Solan police has registered a case under Section 324 of the IPC for causing grievous hurt. The villagers expressed their anger for not charging him under attempt to murder (IPC 307). Police has reportedly booked villagers under Sections 147, 148, 149 and 323 of the IPC on the complaint of Amardev. The priest justified that he attacked in self-defense.
Villagers on Thursday protest in front of the DC office and warned to block Kandaghat-Chail Road on May 2, 2017 if proper action isn’t taken against the priest. Villagers also approached the Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh with a request to throw the priest out and hand over the temple affairs to panchayat.
Amardev Controversies and Political Patronage
In April, 2016, CID had recovered four leopard skins from the temple premises. The priest was arrested but released within no time reportedly using his high profile connections. In December 2016, Amardev was seen on TV channel threatening to behead journalists if they dared to write against the temple or him. One of the cabinet ministers was also standing by the priest while he was threatening media
The journalist community approached the district police department and asked it to take action against such undemocratic act. However, no one touched the priest. On April 19, district administration of Solan had issued a notice to Shri Ramlok temple committee for encroaching 2.6 Bigha government land. Notice to evict the encroachment and demolition of an illegal structure was also pasted on the wall by the Revenue Department.
After one year of the notice, no action was ever taken.
The reason appears to be apparent. The priest enjoys high profile connections with Himachal’s cabinet ministers like HP Forest Minister, Thakur Singh Bharmauri, Minister HP Social Justice and Empowerment, Dhani Ram Shandil, and HP Health and Family Welfare Minister Kaul Singh Thakur (Watch Video).
The police treat him like VVIP and administrative officers remain keen to kneel at his feet. These cabinet ministers and the Congress government were overwhelmed with respect to Amardev for establishment of Ramlok Mandir. In the video clips, the ministers can be seen politicizing the construction of temple in Himachal by referring it to be a proud moment for the state. Mr. Bharmauri, on one such occasion, had even compared the temple with Ram Mandir construction in Ayodhya (Video). He had said that some political parties talk of building Ram Mandir but didn’t deliver. However, he said, Amardev has done it in Himachal.
Reportedly, the idols worth approximately Rs. 25 crore have already been installed in the temple. Recently, in April, 2017, more idols were installed, and the ceremony was duly attended by some cabinet ministers. The temple feature idols of Lord Ram and family that are made of asthdhatu and are over 10 feet in height. The villagers also demand inquiry regarding source of such huge investment in the temple. People allege also alleged regular illegal felling of trees. The villagers have already reported the matter to the administration.
The construction of the temple is reportedly being carried out in an illegal manner on a piece of 19 Bisva land (खसरा नम्बर 371/366/321) that was allotted to the Panchayati Raj Department in 2015 for construction of a community building. But instead of community hall, Amardev constructed the temple and also encroached upon the adjacent government land. When the locals complained regarding the matter to administration, the government tried to facilitate the construction by changing land use, which is legally prohibited. Shockingly, the Deputy Commissioner, Solan, in a report to the government, had clearly mentioned that if the land was transferred, the possibility of encroachment on 60 Bigha government land in vicinity would increase. Despite that cabinet ministers ignored the report submitted by the DC and proposed change in the land use and land transfer in legislative assembly.
Taking advantage of religious sentiments, the priest has even influenced cabinet ministers and high rank officials. Despite clear notices last year from the Tehsil and report from the DC, Solan over encroachment and illegal construction on the government land, the illegal affairs continue. Is it OK to encourage illegal activities and criminal behavior on the name of religious sentiments or temples?