The Uttar Pradesh Police have filed a case against a journalist and two others for allegedly falsely accusing the secretary of the Ram Temple Trust of grabbing land in Bijnor district, NDTV reported on Sunday.
Journalist Vineet Narain had put up a Facebook post three days ago, accusing the secretary, Champat Rai, of helping his brothers steal land in their hometown in Bijnor. Narain alleged that the land belonged to a woman named Alka Lahoti, a non-resident Indian.
Champat Rai, who is a leader of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, is also facing questions about alleged corruption in land deals connected with the Ram temple in Ayodhya.
Champat Rai’s brother Sanjay Bansal filed a complaint against Narain, Lahoti and another person named Rajneesh, accusing them of tarnishing the reputation of his family and hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus, according to The Times of India.
Bansal claimed in his complaint that he called Narain to clarify the facts in the case but Rajneesh had picked up the phone and threatened to kill him.
Bijnor Police chief Dharm Vir Singh claimed that prima facie, the accusations against Rai and his relatives seemed “baseless”. He added that the police have ordered an inquiry into it.
The police have booked Narain, Lahoti and Rajneesh under 15 sections of the Indian Penal Code and three of the Information Technology Act.
These include Section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion), 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings), 293 (circulating obscene objects), 448 (punishment for house-trespass), The Times of India reported.
This comes as the secretary of the Ram Temple Trust is embroiled in another controversy. The Aam Aadmi Party and Samajwadi Party had on June 13 alleged that 1.208 hectares of land for the temple in Ayodhya, valued at Rs 5.8 crore, was first bought for Rs 2 crore and then sold to the Ram Janmabhoomi Trust for Rs 18.5 crore. The two parties had levelled corruption allegations in connection with the land purchase deal and have demanded an investigation into it.
On June 14, the Ram Janmabhoomi Trust refuted the accusations and claimed that the process of acquiring the land was transparent.