Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, May 13:
Scores of supporters of self-styled Odisha godman Bana Baba today forced their entry to the erstwhile ashram of the controversial spiritual guru and reoccupied the government land in Darshanibanta area of Kurujanga panchayat under Konark police station limits in Puri district.
According to reports, the supporters of Bana Baba alias Banambara Moharana put up a human shield comprising of women and marched forward towards the disputed area. Moments later, they uprooted the barbed fencing and barged into the prohibited area under the surveillance of forest officials.
Tension prevailed in the area as the supporters squatted in the premises. The supporters reclaimed the forest land on which Bana Baba Ashram was built on over 10-acre land.
Last year, Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC) had instructed to survey the disputed land. While the Ashram was initially set up on 10 acres of forest land, later it was extended to 19.60 acres of forest land and 30 decimal of revenue land, the survey had found out.
Meanwhile, the local Forest Ranger today filed an FIR with the Konark police station in connection with the unlawful act.
In September last year, the district administration took over the encroached land and put up fencing along the boundary. Forest personnel were deployed in the area to guard against any trespassing.