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Fraudulent practices in fund-raising drive upsetting Ram Mandir Trust

Umamageswari Maruthappan

The National Fund raising drive for Ram Mandir was initiated on 15th January 2021 which is expected to go until Ravidas Jayanti on 27th February 2021. The scheme allows people to voluntarily deposit a sum for the construction of the Ram Temple.

Though the drive is an encouraging platform for those who are willing to contribute towards the Temple Construction, it certainly imposes a threat of fraudulency. The recent instances in different cities across the Country has questioned the validity of this system.

On 12th February 2021, Trust treasurer Swami Govind Dev Giri exclaimed that around Rs 1,511 Crores has been deposited in the account opened for the receipt of money for the Temple.

The 15-member Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust was constituted in February 2020 by the Government on the instructions of the Supreme Court for monitoring the construction and maintenance of the Ram Temple.

However, since its inception, complaints are pouring in from several cities concerning the increase in fraudulent practices. The end of January marked the beginning of such practices when in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) activists, led by Yatendra Pal Singh Jadaun found about it during the fundraising event.

On knowing that the people of the locality had already paid their money to some other groups, the VHP went ahead to register their complaints and subsequently, an FIR was filed.

“After a technical analysis and a detailed interrogation of the accused Manoj, it was found that he had printed a booklet with receipts from MP Nagar, which matched the original ones, with an intention of forgery. Manoj was collecting funds from shops and other places, which he confessed to us, only for his own gain. So, we arrested him, presented before the court and from there he was sent to jail,” said Rajesh Bhadoria, assistant superintendent of police, Bhopal. It was reported that Manoj had collected around Rs. 2200 from people.

Besides Madhya Pradesh, cases have also been registered in Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra. “Such cases keep coming up,” worried Champak Rai, General Secretary of the Ram temple trust.

Rai who is also the Office bearer of VHP also explained about the types of people involved in such collections.

“One is the kind that is collecting money with devotion and depositing it in the bank account mentioned on the website. These people are earnest and devoted people from our society.” Rai said. “Then there’s the second kind – clever and cunning people. Those who get caught face action from the government and police, or us. And those who manage to escape… god bless them is all I will say,” he said.

On 9th November 2019, the Apex Court, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, ruled the following:

  • The disputed land of 2.77 acres to be given for the Construction of Ram Temple through a government trustee.
  • An alternative 5-acre land to be found for mosque in Ayodhya.
  • The Apex Court dismissed all the other suitS

Read also: Allahabad HC dismisses plea claiming ownership of land allotted for Ayodhya mosque