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Villagers around Ayodhya slam Indian Express for fake report on land deals, accuse their journalists of using abusive language

Author: Rahul Pandey
Publication: OpIndia.com
Date: January 1, 2022
URL:      https://www.opindia.com/2022/01/villagers-around-ayodhya-slam-indian-express-for-fake-report-on-land-deals/

A brief talk with local people has revealed that the whole reporting by the Indian Express is false and deceptive

The Indian Express had published a news report on 24 December 2021 with the title: “Ayodhya: Kin of officials bought land from the trust under probe for illegal transfer of Dalit land”. This report by Shyamlal Yadav and Sandeep Singh claimed that some officers, politicians and their relatives have purchased land in Ayodhya close to less than five kilometres from the Ram Mandir site after the Supreme Court verdict in the Ayodhya case, thereby hinting a conflict of interest. However, locals are debunking the so-called Ayodhya land deal controversy. It may be noted that an OpIndia ground report shows that the concerned plots not within 5 km of Ram Mandir site, but are located in villages much farther than that.

To besiege the Ram Mandir at Ayodhya into controversies, the Indian Express has concocted stories about land deals in the nearby villages. OpIndia has reported the details of the news report with fact checks and explained how the local people are astounded by such news reports by the Indian Express. They believe that all this exercise of concocted news reports is done with the sole purpose of defaming the sacred city Ayodhya. According to the local people, the alleged reporters roaming in Ayodhya to report about the land deals are more of some abusers than journalists.

On 27th and 28th December of 2021, OpIndia reporters visited the places which were reported in the Indian Express with dubious intentions. A brief talk with local people has revealed that the whole reporting by the Indian Express is false and deceptive.

‘They defamed the holy city by baseless controversy’

Birauli is situated almost twelve kilometres from the Ram Mandir site. Allegedly, a relative of SDM Ayush Chaudhari is said to have bought some land here. In the local farms, our team could meet Sanjay Kumar Varma who hails from the family of local land dealers. He said, “Our area is unfamed due to the baseless controversies created by such news reports. We are a blameless community, and our lands are having a clear title. Despite all this, we are being made controversial. The land deal was done in perfect accordance with all the necessary laws and regulations. We received the whole amount that we were supposed to. Nobody forced us in any way. But the blot of this defamation is such that anybody will hesitate to buy a piece of land here.”

‘It is all flooded here during rainy season’

We also met Sandeep Varma in Birauli who said, “I had gone through the Indian Express news. It is nothing more than a rumour. I too possess some land here. I was never pressurised by any leader or bureaucrat. After this news report, none of the land buyers visited the area. Our properties are seen with prejudice. Ram Mandir is more than ten kilometres away from here, while the report claims that we are located just next to the site. In rainy seasons, it is all flooded in here. No new project or hotel etc is seen around. Despite that, the area is being defamed for reasons unknown.”

‘Conspiracy to impede the development’

Itora Chauraha (Hanumat Nagar) is situated on the way to Ayodhya city. Here we met Ravi Tiwari who said, “I live in this locality. Hardly had the area started to develop than some of the opponents have started to kick up a row. Ram Mandir is not less than twelve kilometres away, and yet the rumour is being mongered that it is within five kilometres. This is a rural area. Everyone here would want to find a better buyer for his possessions. Reported rumours will intercept the development of this area. Behind such reports, there lies a conspiracy to impede the development of this area.”

Journalists? Or abusing goons?

Land deals in Barhata Manjha area were accused to be the most controversial ones in the Indian Express report. Most of the local land here is related to Maharshi Ramayana Vidyapeeth Trust that is MRVT. It is purported that relatives of Commissioner M. P. Agrawal, DIG Deepak Agrawal, Mayor and BJP MLA have purchased some land here. OpIndia visited the very spot where the claimed land purchase had taken place. A local lady said, “About four to five days ago, a few journalists had visited here whom we were seeing for the very first time. They were heard having a talk with each other in which they were abusing the district magistrate. There was a shorty journalist among them, who was saying that we are here to f*ck the DM’s aunt.”

Not all the land of MRVT is controversial

OpIndia talked to Indraraj Nishad who lives in Khalik Purwa of Barhata Manjha. He told, “I too had bought land from MRVT. Not all the places in MRVT are controversial. Not all the officers are wrong. If at all anyone has committed something wrong, he will be probed. This fake news has defamed our area everywhere. Now nobody is coming here to buy the land. I was about to sell one small plot of mine, but this news has ensured that no buyer is interested anymore. That is why we insist that media run true news reports.”

Plan to defame the BJP government

Baburam Gupta of Vasudev Ghat near Ram Mandir is into land deal business. While talking to OpIndia, he said, “I have read the complete news report. This is a sheer lie. The lands at a distance of fifteen to twenty kilometres are reported to be within five kilometres. On the pretext of bureaucrats, it is a plan to defame the BJP government. All these misconceptions are spread by the opposition.”

Saints of Ayodhya getting angry over this

In a telephonic conversation with OpIndia, Sant Raju Das of Hanumangadhi told that this is nothing but a conspiracy aimed to ensure that no outsider invests his money in Ayodhya. He further said, “Conspirers are none other than the ones who had once claimed Bhagwan Ram to be just a myth. Today, disputes are being raised over the purchase of some land. But have the buyers earned their money by killing someone or doing some criminal act? This is a conspiracy by perverted minded and left-wingers aimed to defame the holy city.

Mahant of the Nayak Mandir in Pramod Van of Ayodhya said, “Maybe some people made mistakes. But the way this matter is portrayed is not fair at all.” In a conversation with OpIndia, Mahant Ajay Das of Raghunandan Kunj Mandir in Ayodhya has said, “This is nothing but an illusion spread by the media. Relatives of the officers have purchased the land due to their religious sentiments about the holy city. They were needlessly defamed. But eventually, everything will be crystal clear.”
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