Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 22:
After Sarathi Baba in Kendrapara and Abhiram Baba on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar, another Baba has come to the fore in Odisha. Like his more illustrious fellow-travellers, the man who is known as ‘Kalki’ Baba has encroached more than 30 acres of government land worth crores around his ashram near Konark.
The bel leaf, tulsi and lotus clad Baba named ‘Brahmachari Shibashri Haribrahma Banambara’ aka ‘Kalki Baba’ has built his ashram over 30 acres of forest and gochar (village grass land meant for cattle grazing) land.
His massive ashram, which is located at Guhalpur by the side of the Konark-Kakatpur road, is only seven kilometres away from Konark. The campus features a Shiv temple, a large parking for the self-proclaimed godman’s cars and many buildings and rest shades for visitors.
Apart from encroaching land illegally, he has also allegedly indulged in wood smuggling, locals say.
Such is the clout of the Baba that hundreds of devotees from Puri and nearby areas line up to seek his blessing every day. Things go bit extreme during the Shravan month of Hindu calendar when the kanwarias line up to pour water on him like they do on the Shiv Ling.
The locals, however, are not very amused. Neither are the government officials.
“The Baba has encroached 22 acres of jungle land and has constructed a temple and other buildings on it. I have submitted my report to the Puri DFO on this regard,” said the Konark Wildlife Range officer.
The DFO also promised further investigation and action against the Baba while speaking to us.
The situation remains tense in the area after the Baba’s land encroachment came to the fore and the government has deployed force to avoid any untoward incident.