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Illegal structures in Mata Amritanandamayi ashram

Kochi, Mar 4 (): Mata Amritanandamayi ashram is now facing a fresh controversy.

An ombudsman looking into the buildings that have come up in the ashram has found that 49 buildings that were constructed were without panchayat sanction and taxes were not paid. It was constructed on paddy fields reclaimed by the Mutt.

In another development, the lawyer who filed a complaint asking for investigation into the rape charges mentioned in a book written by an ex-aide of Mata Amritanandamayi has moved the SC asking it to initiate action on Kerala police who have refused to investigate the complaint. The Congress-RSS-BJP have come out in support of Mata Amritanandamayi. Only the CPM is against Mata Amritanandamayi.

Around Rs 1.5 crores has to be paid by way of taxes every year to the local body and it was not done for years. After it was proved with documents about the tax evasion and flouting of rules regarding building structures on reclaimed paddy fields that are Panchayat land known as ‘poramboke’ land, Mata Amritanandamayi ashram applied for regularization of 14 buildings which include a college and paid the taxes.

Here again it was treated as an educational institution run with government aid and given concession. Despite representations from CPM youth wing to the local body to go into other buildings in the Mata Amritanandamayi ashram’s buildings, the officials have turned a blind eye.

Mata Amritanandamayi telephoned the DYFI leader who is spearheading the agitation and asked him as to why it was only her ashram being targeted when big business complexes like Lulu market in Kochi had converted paddy fields to build buildings. Her argument was that they were barren lands and were put to good use. She added it would not bring about water table depletion as arrangements have been made.

As the lawyer moved SC, Kerala police has now send an email to the author asking for her statement. Activists say that Kerala police foisting cases on people for FB posts are legally on the wrong foot as the person who is defamed has to complain and not a third-party. Many also feel that the posts ridiculing her ancestry are in bad taste. Mata Amritanandamayi is peeved that all the good work done by her organization is out of focus.

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