Nainital: Uttarakhand High Court has ordered the state forest department to remove the Rishikesh ashram of self-styled godman Asaram Bapu. A bench of Justice Manoj Tiwari gave the green signal for vacating the ashram located at Munni Ki Reti in Rishikesh.
On Friday, the honorary court found out that the ashram was built on forest land and the lease deed had expired in 1970. The lease which expired back then was never renewed, neither an attempt was made by any of his followers.
In 2013, the Forest Department had ordered the removal of the ashram on the above-mentioned ground but the HC had given the stay order and it was held pending ever since then.
The Court’s order came after a social activist Stefen Dubey filed a plea against the illegal encroachment by his followers in the forest land area. Dubey’s counsel Kartikeya Harigupta told the court that the lease was initially given for only 20 years in 1950. Revoking its earlier stay order against the forest department, finally, the HC had ordered to stay vacated the ashram.