Selling crops grown on temple land? Official in UP's Banda says show Aadhar card first

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Ram Kumar Das, Mahant, Ram Janki Mandir (ANI).
Ram Kumar Das, Mahant, Ram Janki Mandir (ANI).

Banda (Uttar Pradesh) [India], June 8 (ANI): Priests and caretakers in Uttar Pradesh's Banda district are flummoxed as they have been asked to produce the Aadhaar cards of 'gods', if they wanted to sell produce of crops grown on lands belonging to temples and temple mutts.

Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM), Saurabh Shukla of the district said he had a few days ago issued directions in which Aadhar card of the 'gods' are mandatory for the sale of agricultural produce.

The offbeat order came to light after a caretaker priest of the Ram Janki temple in Attarra tehsil's Khurhar village arrived at the govenrment mandi to sell the crops grown on the temple land but was asked to produce the Aadhar card of the diety in whose name the land was registered.

"I had registered on the online portal for sale of crops in the government mandi which we had grown on the temple's land and waited for the verification by the Lekhapal. Due to Panchayat polls and COVID situation we decided to wait a bit more, thinking the officials must have been busy in the elections. After the polls got over, when I enqired, the Lekhapal told me that SDM has rejected our application," said Ram Kumar Das, Mahant, Ram Janki Mandir.

From where do we bring the Aadhaar card of the god?" asks Das.

"Now, how can someone have the Aadhar card of deities? I spoke to the SDM about how there must be an Aadhar card for the owner of the land. Upon asking for an alternative, he said we should sell our crops to Arathiyas (commission agents), Das said

"But Aarathiyas will buy our crops at a pittance," Das added.

He said, "How are we to meet expenses and get our food if we cannot sell the crops in the mandi?"

SDM Shukla confirmed over phone that he had indeed given the order stating that everyone needs to produce Aadhar card for the sale of crops, be it a human or a deity.

"No matter whether it is a human or a god, if you want to sell the crops, then you must bring the Aadhaar card," the SDM said.

District Fertiliser Officer Govind Kumar Das, speaking to ANI over phone call, said that they would be able to allow the sale of the crops produced on lands of temples and mosques only when there will be a provision in the online registration portal for the same. "If the government allows, we will surely buy the crops." (ANI)

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