Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sep 1:
The rich and mighty self-styled godman Sura Baba aka Surendra Mishra ran his own court of arbitration and adjudicated on disputes at his Trahi Achyuta ashram in Jhiinti Sasan on the outskirts of the Odisha capital.
While the Kangaroo court convened in the precincts of the ashram had several real estate mafia and top businessmen on board with Baba as its supreme judge, the court also used to deliver instant justice to the aggrieved parties.
Real estate disputes constituted the bulk of the cases that the Baba’s kangaroo court used to adjudicate on the issue.
As per reports, Baba had ‘handpicked’ few women regularly visiting the ashram as members of the Kangaroo court. These women were allegedly bestowed with supreme powers to maintain order in the ashram. It is alleged that these Baba-appointed volunteers used to beat men and women alike in case of breach in ashram rules.
Besides, the godman had recruited private security personnel as Lal Bahini (Red Brigade) to provide security to Baba as well as the well-maintain the ashram.
Security arrangements in the ashram were tightened after the arrest of two Bihari hardcore criminals from the ashram. The red brigade of the Baba used to patrol around the ashram round the clock. They were positioned at Dalamandap, ashram main gate, visitors’ rest house, mutt and other places of the ashram.
These men, dressed in red T-shirt and black pants, used to provide security in the premises during various functions in the ashram, especially during Rath Yatra organised by the ashram authorities. Apart from crowd management, they act as bouncers too.
Security measures were tightened in the sprawling ashram after allegations against ? The men on duty used to frisk the incoming vehicles and visitors’ belongings, besides checking their identity proof before letting them in at the entry point to the ashram.
It is alleged that these security men used to abuse and thrash the devotees mercilessly on the directions of Sura Baba if they disobeyed the orders of these men.
The high-handedness was not restricted to the campus only, the outsiders also had been the victim of their wrath.
“Once we were going by the ashram and we talked among ourselves that the ashram people are causing smoke and air pollution by burning the leaf plates dumped after having prasad (cooked food) in the ashram. Someone overheard it and chased us. The ashram men intercepted us and asked us to appear before Baba. We went to the ashram where we were made to do sit-ups and detained for quite some time,” a minor boy of the village said.