Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sep 5:
There is one more addition to the lengthening list of tainted Babas in Odisha, who appear to have made encroachment of government land into a fine art. The 74-year old ponytailed Nageswari Baba, who colors his hair and uses nail polish to appear more attractive, has not only encroached 12, 000 square feet of government land, but is also the talk of the town for his love for female disciples.
The self-proclaimed Nageswari Baba alias Bhaskar Pradhan originally hails from Ujanipada of Pipli area. He rose to fame offering tabizs to people who came to him seeking solutions for their problems and gained notoriety after acquiring a bunch of antisocial disciples.
He has built his Ashram illegally on 12 goonths of government land on the foothills of Khandagiri-Udaygiri Ashram by the side of Kolathia-Baramunda road and right in front of the temporary bus terminus where he worships the photos of Lord Shiva and Parvati along with his own picture in a room. The Baba, along with his family, reside in the Ashram premises.
The Ashram was built about 15 years back with the help of some police officers and politicians, who happen to be followers of the tantric baba. A temple is also under construction these days on the encroached land.
The locals are, however, not happy with his antics. Many suspect he deals in narcotics.
“The Baba spoilt the local youth here. He has many kinds of businesses. He has constructed houses in the nearby slum and has rented them. He makes money from bus parking in his Ashram premises and we suspect that he deals in narcotics with the help of these buses that ply to Kolkata. Also, there are a lot of women, who live inside the Ashram which looks suspicious to us. We would like the commissionerate police to investigate the matter,” said a local in condition of anonymity.
The Baba, however, dismissed all allegations even though he confessed to have built the Ashram on government property.
“I understand that I have built this Ashram on government property. I have sought permission from the GA Department of Odisha government. However, if the government asks me to vacate the place, I would abide by it. The ladies who live are my family members and not my disciples. So far as police investigation is concerned, I welcome it,” said the Baba.