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Bihar minister a prisoner in his own bungalow: Ramai Ram locked in by villagers

Revenue and Land Reforms Minister forced to use his back door to go out after court’s order

Gulf News

Patna: A senior minister in the ruling Janata Dal (United) government in Bihar has become a prisoner in his own house as its main gate has been locked and half his sprawling official bungalow fenced by a man on the order of the court which found the construction illegal.

The Revenue and Land Reforms Minister Ramai Ram is now forced to use his back door to go out after the court’s order. The minister’s bungalow is located on the posh Hardinge Road locality of Patna.

The situation arose after the local Patna High Court handed over Govardhan Lal Pujari the ownership title over the land on which the bungalow of the minister sits.

Pujari, in his petition, had claimed the government had acquired the land of his ancestors to construct official bungalows but were not paid any compensation.

Delivering its judgement, the court asked the government to vacate parts of the bungalow and also allowed the petitioner to fence that land. It was in the light of this order that the minister’s bungalow has been fenced by the petitioner, leaving the senior minister in the Nitish Kumar government a virtual prisoner in his own house.

“I am the lawful owner of this land as the land on which the minister’s bungalow exists belonged to our grandfathers,” a pleased-looking Pujari told the media Sunday as the minister sitting on the other side of the fence just looked on.

The bungalow was fenced by putting bamboo sticks and flower pots in the middle. Pujari added that he had no issue with the minister; rather his fight was with the state of Bihar.

The minister, however, alleged he was being victimised by the government since he came from the downtrodden community.

“I have strong objection over the way a bungalow coming up on a disputed land was allotted to me. The department should have verified the records before allotting this house to me...the developments have severely hurt my pride and prestige in the society,” a fuming minister said adding he and his family were now feeling insecure owing to the bifurcation of his bungalow.

He alleged he was meted out this nasty treatment perhaps because he comes from the Dalit community, and not from the powerful castes. The minister who represents Bochaha assembly segment under Muzaffarpur district in the state assembly has requested the government to immediately shift him to other bungalow.

The entire story, reports said, dates back to 1911 when around 3,000 acres of lands were acquired from farmers of Dhirachak village for developing the state when Patna became the capital of newly created Bihar state.

The land had been acquired for constructing bungalows for ministers and senior officers. However, the petitioner said his ancestor did not get any compensation for the land taken for them, forcing them to reach the court for justice.