Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Jagatsinghpur, Sep 8:
Luck seems to be running out of Babas in Odisha as a namesake of controversial self-proclaimed godman Sura Baba was the latest target of people who was ousted from his ashram at Tentoi in Jagatsinghpur district yesterday for allegedly encroaching upon government land since last 25 years where his ashram was built.
Politically influential Surendra Nath Maharana alias Sura Baba had grabbed cremation ground and gochar land in Tentoi village under Naugaon block of Jagatsinghpur to build his Ashram where he lived with his family. The Jagannath and Achyutananda worshipping Baba had built a pandal and meeting place on the encroached land.
If land grab was not enough, he used his political clout to threaten villagers not in terms with him and even dragged them to court on false cases on occasions which didn’t go down well with the villagers. His relationship with the villagers was often tense.
Following the outrage against the Babas all over the state after a series of expose by media, the villagers mustered courage against the Baba and approached the local cops to drive him out of the Ashram.
Based on the complaint, Sura baba was removed from the Ashram in the presence of police and district administration officials. Things, however, didn’t go very smooth.
While the cops seized marijuana from the Ashram during the drive, the villagers and the Baba had an altercation over the issue while led to the saffron clad being beaten up by the villagers.