Mayurbhanj: The history of Mahaprabhu Binod Bihari Mutt Temple in Rasagobindapur block of Mayurbhanj district dates back to 100 years. Sources say the then Maharaja Shri Ramchandra Bhanja Deo had provided 600 acres of land for the construction of the mutt temple, of which the temple was built over 100 acres while the rest 500 acres constitutes irrigation land and a pond.
However, shocking as it may sound, it has been alleged that the temple manager is illegally selling the land at a much cheaper rate by forgery and claiming ownership over the entire property.
In a money receipt book which corroborates the illegal sale of temple land, it was found that the manager has received an advance cheque of Rs 4 lakh out of total cost of Rs 12 lakh from the Gayatri Charitable Trust for the 439 acres of land under Plot No 128 and 2.5 decimal land under Plot No 960.
In another receipt, the manager has received a cheque of Rs 1.18 lakh in a similar fashion, reports claimed.
The temple security committee and locals further alleged that apart from these two, the manager has illegally acquired many more money receipts and cheques for the temple land.
Kameswar Tripathy, Member of the Security Committee alleged, "We found a few receipts on such corruption. If the Sub-Collector doesn’t take any step, we will meet the Endowment Commissioner in Bhubaneswar with all the facts.”
“The land neither belongs to the mutt manager nor the Sub-Collector. Only the Endowment Commission has rights over the property. Even we have come to know that he has sold expensive herbs and trees planted in the peripheries,” said Tapan Kumar Das, a local.
Meanwhile, refuting the allegations, Manager of the Rasagobindapur Mutt Parameswar Panda said that neither the property has been sold nor there is any corruption through forgery.
Panda said, “I haven’t sold any land. One person repeatedly requested me to build a Nursing Training School nearby. Only for the sake of the temple, I received Rs 15 lakh and gave them land. But whatever money has been received, it has been done through receipts only, and will be properly utilised for deity and other developmental works of the temple.”
On the other hand, finding veracity in the land sale and corruption allegations, the Additional District Collector informed that appropriate action will be taken after a detailed probe.
Gangadhar Nayak, Additional Collector stated, “The allegations were found to be true. We had sent an officer for a probe and a show cause notice was also issued. No satisfactory reasons were found in the show cause. Necessary action will be taken once we get the final probe report.”