news Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | November 7, 2014 | 02:27 pm IST Revenue authorities have taken possession of land encroached upon by an Art of Living school near Bengaluru. The Ravishar Vidyamandira school in Kachamaranahalli and one Krishna Reddy in K R Puram in Bangalore Urban district had encroached upon two acres of government land, K R Pura Tahsildar Harish Naik told The News Minute. He said that the Tahsildar’s office had issued notices to both parties two months ago, and that they had replied asking for regularization and said they were willing to pay the government the required fees. “The Art of Living school had built a compound wall, a road and other things over two acres of land, which is valued at Rs 10 crore. We told them that they do not have rights over the land. It is government land and government has the rights over it. So we demolished the construction and took possession after issuing an Encroachment Eviction Notice under the Karnataka Land Revenue Act.” Read: Art of Living responds to allegations of encroachment Kannada news channel TV 9 had in October conducted a sting operation after a Bangalore-based couple alleged that Art of Living founder Sri Sri Sri Ravi Shankar had encroached on land belonging to them, and which is adjacent to the religious leader’s ashram on the outskirts of the city. According to TV 9's report, Gopal M Krishna and his wife Arti, had alleged that the Art of Living (AOL) had illegally appropriated around 12 acres of land belonging to them. Krishna had bought 20 acres of land in Agara village on Kanakapura Road in 1979. They built a farm house on the land. He then got married to Arti. He had taken a loan from the Karnataka State Finance Corporation to start a business along with his friends. But he sold off three acres because he incurred losses in the business. According to Krishna, Ravi Shankar visited him for the first time in 1999-2000, asking Krishna to give him land to build a road to the ashram. But since Krishna had pledged the land as personal guarantee with the KSFC, he could not sell it. However, he gave four of the 17 acres of land he owned, on lease to the AOL. Representatives of AOL later bought 5.5 acres in an auction carried out by the KSFC. Eventually, Krishna alleged, the AOL put up a compound wall around all 17 acres. In 2008, AOL allegedly began construction. Until then for five years they had sought police protection for the land. Krishna was diagnosed with cancer in 2005, and he transferred the land to his wife’s name. Later, AOL representatives lodged a case against them, and there were other legal battles in court. Finally, the Karnataka High Court permitted a survey of the land which was carried out October 20 by revenue report. The TV 9 report claims that the survey showed that the land belonged to Krishna and Arti, and not to AOL.

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