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Shadow on cow land, Sangh plots

New Delhi, Jan. 11: Go-mata, perhaps, may save an outfit linked to the Sangh parivar running a cow shelter in the capital.

The Congress-led government at the Centre and its Delhi counterpart are looking into land allotments here ' some to maintain cows and some decided during the Vajpayee government's reign in alleged violation of rules to various entities, many of which have Sangh links.

Delhi revenue minister Raj Kumar Chauhan said a notice seeking an explanation will be issued to Gopal Gosadan which had acquired 80 acres of land for a cow shelter but was looking after only 1,254 cows. The thumb rule is an acre for hundred cows.

'We have decided to issue a notice immediately to Gopal Gosadan which is run by the Sangh parivar. The notice will seek an explanation why the land has not been used and allotment will be withdrawn, if necessary,' said Chauhan.

While the patron of the shelter is the Bharatiya Govansh Rakshan Samvardhan Parishad's Swami Anand Bhaskarji, its office-bearers include Delhi BJP leader Ram Kishen Gupta and RSS leader Mohan Goel.

Last week, a similar notice was issued to Maneka Gandhi whose NGO, People for Animals, runs a shelter.

The Delhi government has caught the scent of a land scam, which is commonplace in the capital.

For example, the urban development ministry in the Manmohan Singh government has found that under the previous BJP administration, rules were flouted to allot prime land to 32 organisations, 22 of them with links to the Sangh.

The Yogesh Chandra committee, set up by the current government, examined 100 of the 225 allotments made since 1998-99, when the Vajpayee government took over. In the other 125, allotments were made to government bodies.

As he announced the findings, the current minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad, took pains to emphasise that the inquiry was not directed at the Sangh.

But that the beneficiaries were linked to the Sangh in 22 of the 32 cases could not have been a coincidence. Nor the fact that 19 plots were allotted on the basis of letters of recommendation from the minister without getting the request examined by the department concerned. Jagmohan and Ananth Kumar had headed the ministry in the period.

Samarth Shiksha Samiti, a Sangh outfit that runs educational institutions, received five plots over two years, three in two months of 2001.

There were other organisations, too, like the Swadeshi Jagaran Foundation, Sewa Bharti, Dharam Yatra Mahasangh, Akhil Bhartiya Shiksha Sansthan and Akhil Bharatiya Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram who were given land on the strength of letters from ministers.

In many other cases, the Chandra committee said allotments were made without conducting a proper inquiry to regularise encroachments on government land by religious organisations, and without proper justification, as in the case of the VHP's Vishwa Samvad Kendra. The committee said the Vajpayee government allotted more land than was sought.

The ministry will refer the cases to the law ministry to determine the action to be taken on the report.

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