FIR against Isha Yoga Foundation for alleged attack on Periyarist organisation

Thanthai Periyar Dravida Kazhagam (TPDK) had earlier filed a police complaint saying they were attacked while visiting a crematorium that Isha Yoga is allegedly illegally constructing.
FIR against Isha Yoga Foundation for alleged attack on Periyarist organisation
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Police have filed an FIR against Jaggi Vasudev’s Isha Yoga Foundation in Coimbatore based on a complaint filed by the Thanthai Periyar Dravida Kazhagam (TPDK). TDPK activists were allegedly attacked on June 15, while visiting a crematorium that they accused Isha Yoga of constructing illegally at Ikkarai Boluvampatti village. The crematorium, according to the complaint, stands on a 44.3 acre plot of land that is under contention between Isha Yoga and the Vellingiri Hill Tribal Protection Society--an Adivasi rights organisation. 

TPDK’s general secretary told the police that their vehicle was stopped and a window of the vehicle was broken by “persons from Isha Yoga”. The Alandurai police have filed an FIR against Isha Yoga under IPC sections Sections 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 506 (1) (punishment for criminal intimidation) and Section 3 (punishment for committing mischief in respect of property) of the The Tamil Nadu Public Property (Prevention of Damage and Loss) Act, 1992. 

Meanwhile, Isha Yoga Centre has refuted the allegations and stated that the TPDK activists were not asked by the court or the state government to visit the crematorium. They also added that they have an interim court stay that bars activists from entering the construction site.

The Vellingiri Hill Tribal Protection  Society had submitted to the Madras High Court in 2016, that Isha Yoga had built multiple encroachments on Adivasi land. They also told the court that constructions on the Foundation’s 150-acre campus in Ikkarai Boluvampatti village do not have the required approvals from the District Collector, Hill Area Conservation (HAC) Authorities, Fire Department and the Pollution Control Board (TNPCB). 

The campus is close to the Bolampatty Reserve Forest–an elephant habitat in the Nilgiris biosphere reserve and the Thanikadai-Marudhamalai elephant migration corridor. Since 2016, the Society has accused Isha Yoga’s construction and expansion work of frightening wildlife who run into farms at night, resulting in crop damages. The society has also alleged that there were ecological damages in the Noyyal river catchment area. The same year, the society  further said that a false case had been registered against Siva, an environmentalist who was leading their fight against Isha Yoga. 

In 2023, the Madras High Court ordered the Joint Director of District Town and Country Planning to look into Isha Yoga’s land purchase documents and to verify if all necessary permissions had been taken and further, to take additional action if it came to light that permissions had not been acquired correctly.

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