Namdeo Das Tyagi had reportedly encroached upon 46 acre allotted to the Jamburdi Hapsi panchayat in 2000 for the development of a cow shelter in Indore district

Indore district administration razing an ashram of 'Computer Baba' on Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020.   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Namdeo Das Tyagi had reportedly encroached upon 46 acre allotted to the Jamburdi Hapsi panchayat in 2000 for the development of a cow shelter in Indore district

The BJP government in Madhya Pradesh on Sunday tore down an ashram of ‘Computer Baba’ in Indore district claiming it was built illegally, days after he campaigned for the Congress in the byelection.

The police took him and six others into preventive custody.

Namdeo Das Tyagi (‘Computer Baba’) had reportedly encroached upon 46 acre allotted to the Jamburdi Hapsi panchayat in 2000 for the development of a cow shelter. Illegal structures were built on two acres, valued at ₹80 crore, said the Indore district administration.

“Despite receiving notice from our side, they didn’t remove the encroachment which led to the action,” said Hatod Sub-Divisional Magistrate Shashwat Sharma. The district administration said a cow shelter would be built and a religious site would be developed there.

Political vengeance: Digvijaya

Meanwhile, Rajya Sabha member Digvijaya Singh alleged the ashram and a temple were being razed without any notice with a “feeling of revenge”. “This is the height of political vengeance. I condemn this,” he wrote in Hindi on Twitter. The baba had canvassed for him during the 2019 Lok Sabha election, which Mr. Singh lost to BJP’s Pragya Thakur.

Ahead of the byelection to 28 seats on November 3, the Baba undertook the ‘Save Democracy’ yatra calling upon voters to decide against the BJP’s 25 candidates who had switched over from the Congress since March. Defections of 19 of them en masse had brought down the 15-month Congress government.

In 2018, the Baba was accorded the status of the Minister of State by the BJP government then to oversee planting and cleanliness along the Narmada river. When the Congress came to power, it gave a similar responsibility to him.