बुधवार, 30 सितंबर 2015

Corruption in NrusinghanathJew Matha - A Fact Finding

Fact-Finding Report on Huge Irregularities, illegalities, corruption   and mismanagement in  Nrusinghanath  Jew  Matha with alleged  involvement of  Commissioner of Endowment, Odisha at Khambakul  of Sangrampur village under Balikuda  Block of  Jagatsinghpur district, Odisha

Since last  few months, Odisha  has witnessed big expose by mass media of land scam, crime, criminality, womanisation and sexuality  of fraud  Babas ( so-called God man ),  their indulgence, perversion and unholy alliance with political people, Minister and MLAs of Ruling Class and corrupt  bureaucrats.  Driven by  this mega expose, the  Common people  have  come  to the streets spontaneously to exhibit their anger  against fraud Babas in form  of organising violent protest  against  Govt. alleging  patronising them, attacking  Matha, demanding  their arrest and punishment. The State Govt. has reluctantly taken steps not only arresting  these fraud God man but also seizing their properties, wealth etc. This public outrage has encouraged the innocent people to take up the issues on their own and fight against the illegalities of fraud Babas, Mahanta of Mathas across the state. Ironically in many cases, the State Govt. has come to the rescue of fraud Babas, though their forgery and land scam has been publicly exposed. The case of forgery and illegal occupation of precious Govt. land by Swami Shankaranad Giri, president of Kriya Yoga Trust in V.S.S. Nagar and Baba Aviram in Khandagiri area of Bhubaneswar, capital of Odisha and silence and inaction of the State Government is the glaring example.

Role of Civil Society Groups
The Civil Society Groups of Odisha have not remained mere silent spectator to this development but put  their weight behind the people’s movement  and help them carry forward  their fight  against fraud  Babas. They have exposed the land scam of fraud Babas, put the information in public domain to sensitise the people about true character of Babas and organised mass demonstration to pressurise the Govt. to take legal action against them. 

Being perturbed over the news in mass media about huge illegalities and mismanagement of Nrusinghanath  Jew  Matha at Khambakul  of Sangrampur  village under Balikuda  Block of Jagatsinghpur district by Sri Biswajit Padhi, self-claimed Mathadhisha (head of Matha) and Mass Dharana by the villagers  against  inaction  and callousness of the  Commissioner of Endowment Odisha,   a Eight-member Team  of  Civil Society  had visited  the  Matha  on 28.9.15  to  ascertain the fact of  allegation made by the people  and  to take  action  in case of any irregularities  is noticed. The Team members are as follows:

1.      Pradip Pradhan, RTI Activist
2.      Pratap Sahu, Convener, Basti Sangharsh Samiti
3.      Pradeep Sahu, advocate
4.      Sanjukta Panigrahi, Woman Activist
5.      Sachikant Pradhan,  Odisha Nagarik Samaj
6.      Rohan Mohanty, RTI Activist
7.      Radhamadhab Panda, RTI Activist
8.      SwayanPrava Das, Woman Activist

The Team Members reached in  Sangram Pur  village at 12.30 and found  hundreds of the people  sitting in Dharana  outside  Matha  demanding immediate ouster  of   Sri Biswajit Padhi, self-claimed fraud Mathadhisha and  hundreds of people  taking  meal  inside Matha   hosted by controversial Mathadhisha Sri Padhi.  However, at first, the Team  held hour-long discussion  with  the villagers to understand  about  history of Matha and appointment of  Mahanta of Matha, management  of  property of Matha, reason of controversy,  role of   Commission of  Endowment  and State  Govt.,  role of Local MLA  and district administration etc.  and verified  the documents  available  with them and the information obtained through RTI. Then, the Team also   visited Matha and met Sri Biswajit Padhi, self-claimed Mathadhisha and his associates residing inside of Matha and discussed with him   to know his response about the allegations levelled by the people of that locality.

The Team members met the following people during their visit on fact-finding Mission to the village.
A.     Bhagat Parija
B.      Natha Kandi
C.      Jagabandhu Das
D.     Kanduri Das
E.      Rabindra Sahu
F.       Debadatta  Parija
G.     Asit Kumar Swain
H.     Ananta Ch. Bhoi

Details of the Issues
Khambakula  Matha  is  around 800 years old Matha established by  Sri Manohar Goswami and  managed  by  Mahantas ( Head of Matha is called Mahanta) in hereditary way. Matha has huge landed property of more 800 acres of land. As big portion of the land has been encroached and occupied by the powerful people, the landed property of Matha has been reduced to less than 200 acres. Sri Trilochan Das was last Mahanta whose death, as alleged by the villagers is shrouded in mystery.  Sri Trilochan Das took over the charge of the Matha and declared as Head Trustee (H.T.) of the Institution on 15.11.1996.   

The controversy started centring around signing of “Chella Swekarpatra”  by  Sri Trilochan  Das , Mahanta  on 26.5.14 in favour of  Biswajit  Padhi when he was seriously ill  and admitted  in Sum Hospital  for medical treatment  from 21.5.14 to  28.5.14. In the  Report  issued by Sum Hospital, Bhubaneswar ( signed by Dr. Raghumani Mohanty, Prof. & H.o.D. , Pathology  and Dr. Debahuti Mohapatra, Prof. Pathology), Mahanta Sri Das  was suffering  from cancer.  However, Sri Das was discharged from Sum Hospital on 28.5.14. As alleged by the villagers,  Mahanta  was admitted in different Nursingh Homes and brought to Matha  by Biswajit Padhi on 20.6.15. He was tortured by Sri Padhi and died on 22.6.14. which was declared by  Sri Satyananda Padhi, Badapanda  of Matha.  His death is still in mystery as   without any post-mortem,   his body was cremated.  The villagers suspected ill- motive behind  quick cremation of dead body of Mahanta  and alleged   that  Mahanta  was murdered by the vested groups  led by Sri Biswajit  Padhi  against  whom “Chella Swekarpatra” has been signed and demanded crime branch enquiry into it. “Chella Swekarpatra”   is a declaration of accepting a man as Chela  by Mahanta  as his inheritor.  Sri Trilochana Das, Mahanta  has  declared  to  have accepted  Biswajit Padhi  as Chella  from 22.05.2010  on “ Polo Chela Patra Dalil”.  But  this Dalil (document) is not  available  in the office of Endowment  Commissioner, Odisha  which was exposed through RTI query. The suspicion of the villagers about conspiracy behind murder of Mahanta got more sharpened when it was found that “Chella Swekarpatra”  was signed on such date when Mahanta was seriously ill and under treatment at Sum Hospital. It is obvious to doubt that when Mahanta was seriously ill, how he exercised signing Chella Swekarpatra.  Either Mahanta has been pressurised or his signature forged   by the vested groups to   capture Matha and its huge property.

On the other hand, astonishingly without verifying the authenticity of “Chella Swekarpatra”, Sri Dinabandhu Swain, Inspector of Endowment, Jagatsinghpur endorsed  the same to the Commissioner of Endowment, Bhubaneswar on 1.7.14 to accept Biswajit Padhi as Chela i.e., inheritor of Matha which was seriously  objected  by the villagers.

When Biswajit Padhi took over the management of Matha, the villagers opposed it and continued their fight to oust Sri Padhi from the management of Matha.  They wrote letter of appeal to District Collector, SP, Jagatsingh Pur, Tahasildar, local MLA, Department of Law and Panchayat Raj seeking their intervention for transparent management of Matha with the involvement of the villagers. 

 Finding no justice from any quarters, the villagers filed writ petition dated 18.8.2014 in Odisha High Court seeking an enquiry into it. Hearing the Writ petition case No.  15661/2014, the High Court directed to the Commissioner of Endowment to enquire the matter and take action as per the law.  As per direction of High Court, the Endowment Commissioner heard the matter in his office chamber by calling both the parties and Inspector of Endowment on 28.10.14. Then he formed an interim Management Committee headed by Inspector of Endowment to look after management of Matha on 3.11.14. The decision and order of the Commissioner, Endowment was intimated to Inspector of Endowment, Jagatsingh Pur and Biswajit Padhi, controversial Chela (order No. -9286 (2) /1164-C.M.- dated 17.11.14) and to Tahasildar, Jagatsinghpur. But the order of the Commissioner of Endowment was not carried out and kept in files. In the meantime, Sri Biswajit Padhi got time to take away wealth, gold, ornaments from Matha.

However, sri Biswajit Padhi challenged   the order of the Endowment Commissioner in High Court vide case No. W.P (C) No. 24022 dated 8.12.14. The Hon’ble Court in its order dt. 18.12.14  has issued  direction  to the Commissioner of Endowment, Odisha to take up spot  denovo  inquiry and directed  the Inspector of  Endowment, Jagatsighpur to continue as interim trustee  in order to preserve  salvage  and protect  the property  of Matha along with conducting the ensuring "Nabakalabera" of the said Matha. Interestingly, though around 10 months have passed, the Endowment Commissioner has not yet conducted any enquiry to resolve the matter.

But astonishingly, the Inspector of Endowment  even though took over the  charge of Interim Trustee, handed over all the management power to Sri Biswajit Padhi, S/o- Satyanand Padhi, Head priest of  Sri Nrusinghanath Jew, Khambakul Math. This decision of Inspector of Endowment provided opportunity to suspect the role of the administration and their unholy alliance with Sri Padhi. 

It was also found that since death of Mahanta, the villagers have been alleging the anti-Matha activities and huge misappropriation of property and wealth of Matha by Biswajit  Padhi. They have also substantiated their allegation by obtaining information from various offices under RTI Act. Few of their allegations exposed through RTI are as follows.

A. “Chella Swekarpatra” is a false and forged document prepared by Biswajit Padhi manipulating signature of Mahanta as his inheritor.

B. Sri Padhi  has taken the  valuable  cultivated land  measuring  an area of  5.13 Acres  of the Matha  on lease  basis for  a period of twenty years  from 4.11.2012  to 3.11.2032 which is illegal  under section 19 of  the Odisha  Hindu Religious  Endowment Act, 1955.  The said section says “ notwithstanding  anything contained  in any law for the time being in force no transfer by exchange, sale or mortgage ad no lease  for a term  exceeding five years of ay immovable property  belonging to , or given  or endowed  for the purpose of , ay religious  institution, shall be  made unless it is sanctioned  by the Commissioner as being necessary  or beneficial  to the institution  and no such  transfer  shall be valid  or operative  unless it is so sanctioned.”

C. Sri Padhi is involved in the profitable business activities  by acquiring  one tractor having  engine No. S3251E39706 & Chassis  No. SSEW101201213 o 14.3.2013 through subsidiary system by utilising landed property of the Matha on his parental address.

D. Huge  wealth like  gold , ornaments  worth crores of rupees  in Gravagruha   has  been excavated  and taken  away  by Sri Padhi  and  his associates. Being empowered  by  the Interim Trustee, Sri padhi and his associates  have started  disposing off  the properties  of the Matha  suh as rice, paddy,  1 lakh bricks, valuable trees, agricultural equipments and other valuable  materials  unauthorisedly and many more.

Armed with these documentary  proofs, the  villagers  have  submitted a memorandum dated  22.6.15   to Endowment Commissioner  demanding  immediate ouster of  Sri Padhi from Campus and  form a Management Committee taking participation of local administration  and other intellectuals  in the greater interest of  Sri Nursinghnath Jew thereby obstructing anti-social activities in the premises of Matha,  selection of  Mahanta for Matha  by  calling  meeting of the  villagers and implement order of  the High Court.  

Finding no solution, on 28.9.15, they have started Hunger strike   in front of Matha   to mount pressure on Govt.  for permanent solution  and restoration of sanctity, sanctum and sanctorum of Matha.

Response of Sri Biswajit Padhi, Controversial Chela
The Team met Sri Padhi and sought his response about the allegations made by the villagers. He declined to respond anything saying that the matter is sub-judice. He showed a copy of the order of the High Court dated 18.12.14 in which the direction has been passed to the Commissioner of Endowment to enquire into the matter. However he said that the allegations made by the villagers are false as he has been authorised by the administration to look into the management of Matha.

Remarks of the Team
The whole controversy emerged and still continued due to callousness of the administration to resolve the matter timely with involvement of the villagers and their close proximity with Sri Biswajit Padhi @ Das, controversial Chela. The issues created by the administration are as follows.

1.  Without  verifying the  authenticity of the “ Chella Swekarpatra”the Inspector of Endowment, Jagatsinghpur  arbitrarily  endorsed it to the Commissioner of Endowment  and recognised  as  chela i.e., inheritor  of  deceased Mahanta Sri Trilochan Das.

2.  After public protest and subsequent  order of Odisha High Court dated 24.9.14 , the Endowment  Commissioner  formed  an interim management Committee headed  by  Inspector, Endowment, Jagatsingh Pur  for management  of  Matha. But astonishingly,  the Inspector, Endowment  handed over the charge to Sri Biswajit Padhi  to manage  Matha which was outrightly objected  by the villagers. This decision  led to huge public discontentment  in the locality.

3.   Again,  hearing another  Writ petition filed  by Sri Biswajit Padhi,  the Odisha High  Court gave direction on 18.12.14  to the Commissioner, Endowment, Odisha  to enquire  into the  matter  and  take appropriate legal action.  Though around 10 months have passed,  the Endowment Commissioner  has  sat idle without taking any action  to execute the order  of the Court.

4.  The ominous silence of Sri Prasant Kumar Muduli, local MLA of Biju Janata Dal has also aggravated the situation. As the representative of the people, he has the moral duty to resolve the issue in the greater interest of Matha. Though the villagers have informed the Local MLA about it, he has not taken any step to resolve the issue.  it was also alleged that the local MLA is also involved  in this controversy  and supporting  controversial Chela. However, the Team could not be able to contact Local MLA to get his opinion. 

Recommendation of the Team
A.   Nrusinghanath Jew Matha is an age old public Institution. It is the responsibility of the State as well as the people to preserve its sanctity, sanctum in the greater interest of the villagers.  When the edifice of the Matha is breaking down, the villagers have come to the streets to protect it.  But the administration i.e.,  Commissioner of Endowment appointed to oversee  the management of all Hindu Religious Institutions has exhibited  lackadaisical  attitude  and precariously  failed to  take steps  to carry out the order  of the High Court  and resolve the issue of mismanagement  of Matha.  Due to inaction of the Endowment Commissioner, the villagers have come to the streets spending their precious time and money to protect  an institution. Keeping  in view this situation, the Team also feels  which can not be ruled out  that  the  heavy powerful political group  (may be Minister  and Local MLA  ) are  behind the scene to capture the property of Matha by hook and by crook.  Sri Biswajit Padhi is just like a puppet in their hand to amass wealth of Matha.

B.  So, the Team strongly  recommends  that  the Commissioner of Endowment  should immediately  enquire  into the matter  as per order of Odisha High Court  and form a management Committee  taking  participation of the villagers  for transparent management of Matha.

C.  The Commissioner of Endowment should  institute an enquiry team  to assess the property of Matha  and  resume the land illegally acquired by the powerful people.

Follow-up Action
A.  The Civil Society Groups  organised Mass Dharana with participation of the hundreds of the people in front of the office of Commissioner of Endowment, Odisha on 30.9.15  demanding immediate enquiry into irregularities  in  Khambakula Matha  as per the direction of Odisha High Court and submitted memorandum to Justice G.C.Panigrahi, Commissioner  in this regard.

Report Prepared  by  Pradip Pradhan on behalf of the Team. He  can be contacted  @ pradippradhan63@gmail.com,  M- 9937843482

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