(Eds: Adds BJP, Cong quotes) Indore, Nov 9 (PTI) Authorities in Indore in Madhya Pradesh on Monday said they have freed 40,000 square feet of land worth Rs 13 crore from alleged encroachment by spiritual leader Namdevdas Tyagi, better known as Computer Baba.
Tyagi, who held ministerial status under the previous Congress government in MP as chairman of Nadi Sanrkashan Nyas (River Conservation Trust), is accused of illegal construction on encroached land.
He was arrested on Sunday when the administration was removing encroachment from government land in Jamburdi Hapsi village near Indore, during which a rifle and air pistol were found in his ashram.
Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Rajesh Rathore on Monday said illegal construction on 20,000 square feet of land adjacent to a temple in the city's super corridor area was demolished, including those carried out on land included in a scheme of Indore Development Authority (IDA).
'The market value of this freed land is around Rs 5 crore. In another move, the administration's squad freed 20,000 square feet from the baba's illegal possession in the premises of Shri Dakshin Kali Peeth Trimahavidya temple in Ambikapuri Extension. This land has a market value of Rs 8 crore,' he said.
The SDM said Baba had illegally occupied the temple premises and constructed five rooms, all of which had been reclaimed now.
These rooms were emptied of Baba's possessions but have not been demolished and have been handed over to the residents' association of Ambikapuri Extension Colony for maintenance.
'In the approved map of Ambikapur Extension, the place where the temple was built was earmarked for a public garden.
However, a temple got built and Computer Baba occupied it,' Rathore said.
Additional District Magistrate (ADM) Ajaydev Sharma said registry of 3.125 hectares of agricultural land in Ajnod village here has been seized and it showed 'Namdevdas Tyagi aka Computer Baba' as the buyer.
'It is clear from this registry that Computer Baba was involved in the purchase of land in his own name as well. An account in the name of Namdevdas Tyagi has also been found in a bank branch in Gandhi Nagar area. We have sought transaction details etc from the bank,' Sharma informed.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Jitu Patwari likened MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to 'Hitler' for taking action against a 'saint'.
Patwari, who met Tyagi in jail, said, 'If sadhus, saints are against him, then Hitler-like CM Chouhan will not spare them. Computer Baba told me the BJP government is torturing him.' Patwari also claimed the ashram construction that the state government was terming illegal was built from 'MLA fund and Janpad panchayat government money'.
Hitting back, BJP spokesperson JP Moolchandani said his party supported spiritual leaders who showed society the right path but 'Computer Baba has done illegal construction on government land reserved for a cowshed'. PTI HWP ADU MAS BNM BNM