The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cult stakes claim to disputed property

Purulia, June 13: Upset at the police’s “takeover” of the three-storied building at Bansgarh, which the Ananda Marga had built allegedly on government land, the cult claimed that it had proof the property was its.

In letters to the district magistrate and the superintendent of police, it claimed to having in its possession a registered deed of the house in a remote corner of Jhalda block.

The police set up a camp on the premises on Wednesday following a decision to step up security in the area after a Maoist Communist Centre-engineered explosion on June 6. The blast was the first organised militant activity in the otherwise peaceful district and set off alarm bells in the administration.

Armed police teams had started patrolling in the area following the murder of a landlord, Jagadish Tiwary, in November. Fingers were raised at the MCC after that incident as well.

Acharya Nirmeghananda, the Rector Maharaj at Ananda Nagar (the cult’s headquarters), said the 2 acres on which the building stood was donated to the organisation in 1966 “by some Tiwary”. “We have built a school and a farm on the premises and the building was used as a centre for distribution of relief,” he added.

Immediately after coming to know about the “intrusion”, the Margis went to file an FIR with the Jhalda police “but they refused to accept it”.

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