demands action against self-styled godman
By Our Staff Reporter
The fact-finding committee of civil rights bodies, which went into the
allegations against Kaleshwar Swamy alias Kali, a self-proclaimed godman
of Penukonda, has issued an open letter to the Assembly and Parliament
Members of the ruling party from the district and the District Collector
seeking action in the matter.
In the letter released at a press conference here
last evening, M. Geyanand of JVV, Rasool of Human Rights forum and
representatives of other bodies expressed concern at the lack of
response of the District Collector, Somesh Kumar, the Minister from the
district, N. Kistappa, and the Assembly and Parliament Members of the
ruling TDP in the district over the issue of alleged illegal activities
of Kaleshwar and his ashram.
They said the issue was being talked about all over
the district but responsible officers and elected representatives were
ignoring it. Several illegal activities of Kaleshwar were brought to
light along with evidence but there was no necessary action according to
law from those who were concerned. Reiterating their charges the
fact-finding panel members said that Kaleshwar of Bukkapatnam had set up
his ashram at the feet of the Penukonda fort and the adjoining `Gaganmahal',
a historical construction belonging to the Vijayanagar era. The
activities of Kaleshwar during the last five years included deceiving
people in the name of unearthing a hidden treasure and identifying such
a treasure at historical wells, temples, graves and choultries during
nights with the help of a team from Poland and metal detectors and
unearthing it, they alleged.
Besides smuggling of ancient idols, jewellery and
diamonds, hawala, running fake currency racket, sale of narcotics,
business of blue films among others also comprised his major activities
during the last five years, they charged. A group of persons also used
to help Kaleshwar but they later kept away.
Kaleshwar had donned the garb of a godman to
safeguard his illegal activities, they alleged. According to a plan to
unearth `hidden treasure' he had also encroached upon historic
constructions and precious lands. Initially, he had even taken on lease
illegally the lands belonging to two temples in survey numbers 394(2)
and 295(4). Later, the Endowments Commissioner, Ajay Kallam, sold the
land legally to Kaleshwar on the suggestion of the District Collector.
Both the Commissioner of Endowments and the Minister
concerned had openly claimed that the land was sold to Kaleshwar only on
the advice of the Collector. Kaleshwar's efforts to encroach upon the
700-year-old Palakeri well were resisted by the people of Penukonda.
Kaleswar also encroached upon other historical constructions like
Gaganmahal, Thimmarusu Jail, Uyyala Gopuram and Panchbeebi Darga, the
fact-finding panel members charged.
The district Collector had sanctioned Government
funds for laying a road to the ashram from the encroached land. However,
the district administration washed off its hands of the matter by
sending a nominal report to the Government, even after the illegal
activities of Kaleshwar were published in newspapers along with
evidence, they noted. the Revenue and Endowments Departments had also
sent reports ''identifying the need to protect historical constructions
by the Archaeological Department''.
The fact-finding committee sought to know whether
the Collector, who used to visit the Kali Ashram every alternate day
till the issue blew into a controversy, did not know about Kali's
encroachments and illegal activities.
There are no accounts for the income and expenditure
of the ashram as the properties there were either registered on Kali's
name or on the names of his family members. Financial irregularities
like violation of foreign exchange regulations and income tax evasion
also need to be answered, the committee said. Besides, non-registration
of the ashram under Cooperative Unions Act or as trust was also
The fact-finding committee further sought to know
why Kali was not arrested so far in spite of criminal cases book against
him, whether the Collector was believing that no irregularities were
committed by Kali and why the report sought by Chief Minister's
secretary, S.V. Prasad, was not sent with the details of irregularities