'"Get lost from here, you scoundrel. Nobody in this administration will help you," the CM shouted at me.'
Ayush Singhal, a Lucknow resident, on April 3, 2018, alleged that he was pushed away by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Ajay Singh Bisht -- aka Yogi Adityanath -- when he approached him with a complaint against an MLA at a janata darbar (public hearing) in Gorakhpur.
Singhal, who claims to be the owner of 5.5 acres of prime property in Lucknow, has been locked in a land dispute with Amanmani Tripathi -- an MLA who represents the Nautanwa assembly constituency -- since 2012 when the Samajwadi Party was in power in the state.
Singhal claimed that Amanmani illegally occupied his land and nobody paid heed to his (Singhal's) pleas as Amanmani's father Amarmani Tripathi, a four-time MLA from the Nautanwa constituency was a SP strongman.
Six years later, Singhal, a real estate developer in Lucknow, thought his problem may get solved with the change in the state government.
However, his hopes were dashed when Chief Minister Bisht allegedly heckled him.
Singhal, below, left, recalls his ordeal to Rediff.com's Prasanna D Zore.
The chief minister, Singhal says, was quite cordial when he first met him on February 28, 2018 about his land dispute with the Tripathi family, but changed his tone and attitude when he met him on April 3, regarding the same issue.
"All of you who watch TV must have seen that during voting for the Rajya Sabha elections, Amanmani was openly saying that he will do whatever Maharajji (Bisht) asks him to do."
"Perhaps, he (Bisht) is returning his favour," Singhal said.
Could you tell us what happened when you went to meet the UP chief minister?
I had purchased and registered a 22.5 bigha (5.5 acres or 217,800 square feet; 1 acre is equal to 43,560 sq ft which comes to around four bighas) land in 2012. I have all the documents related to prove that I am the owner of this land.
But after registration I was not able to fence my land because it was illegally occupied by Amanmani Tripathi and his family.
I did not have any expectations from the then Samajwadi Party government because Amanmani belonged to that party.
Amarmani Tripathi is in Gorakhpur jail (Amarmani was sentenced to life imprisonment in the Madhumita Shukla murder case) and his son Amanmani Tripathi is an independent MLA.
Whenever we try to fence our property, Amanmani's goons threaten our workers and my father with guns.
On October 13, 2017, our land was being measured by officials of the revenue department. The officials present that day measured the 22 bighas, out of the total 60 bighas (the remaining parcel of land is owned by Amanmani Tripathi's family), that belonged to us using electronic station machines.
All this is duly recorded with the revenue department.
Since this land was illegally occupied by Amanmani Tripathi as you said, didn't he object to this land measurement?
After the entire exercise was over, Amanmani personally came with his goons the same evening and beat up my people.
I was standing at some distance, so they could not rough me up, but one of my staffers was hurt seriously.
Didn't you lodge an FIR (first information report) against Amanmani for this assault?
My father had gone to the local police station to lodge an FIR, but the SHO (station head officer) got him to sign an application and got him to compromise on it.
What kind of compromise?
What else could people like us do when the police does not lodge an FIR and pressurise you to strike a compromise?
The deal was that we will give a written application without pushing the police to file an FIR and the matter would be resolved amicably.
But the police tore up the application soon and that was our biggest mistake.
We should have insisted on filing an FIR and got one lodged against Amanmani.
What happened after that?
I went to the Lucknow district magistrate (Kaushal Raj Sharma) under whose orders the land measurement was done, but he too refused to look into this matter.
When I went to the SSP (Senior Superintendent of Police Deepak Kumar) he too refused to cooperate, saying he cannot look into the letters of 200-300 people who get it from the chief minister every day.
The SSP might have said (during one of his press conferences after Singhal named him in the controversy) that I was like his son and I had gone four times to meet him, but he is lying.
I never went to meet him four times.
Are the district magistrate and the SSP lying to the media that they did cooperate with you and helped you in whichever way they could over the issue of illegal occupation of your land
Both of them are lying. Saaf, saaf jhoot bol rahe hai.
Both of them refused to take any action in this matter.
I met the SSP last on March 21 (this year) and the DM on March 28.
When I first went to meet Maharajji (the UP chief minister) at Pancham Tal (the chief minister's office) his OSD (officer on special duty) called the DM and spoke to him about taking stern action.
I heard that too as the OSD had kept the phone on speaker.
The DM told the OSD to send me to his office the next day, but when I went to meet him he said he will first look into the land measurement report of October 13, which he said he did not have then and asked me to meet him after three days.
When I met him after three days on March 28, he humiliated me no end and asked me to leave his office as he was under pressure because of the financial year (March 31, 2018) was nearing.
What did you do next?
Hugely disappointed, I went to meet the honourable chief minister at Gorakhpur on April 3 at his Janata Darbar.
When I met him at around 8.30 am, the place was crowded.
I had neatly arranged all my documentary evidence in an application format and presented it to the CM.
When I first met him on February 28 at his Janata Darbar he was very cooperative and had marked my case for the SSP, Lucknow.
'Beta, main SSP Lucknow se bolke sakht karwai karwata hoon (I will ask the SSP, Lucknow, to take strict action, my son),' he had promised.
With the help of this letter, I met the SSP and DM, Lucknow.
But when nothing happened after meeting these two gentlemen a couple of times, I again approached Maharajji on April 3.
Before I said anything, I bowed before him because he is my elder and a mahant.
Then I told him that Amanmani Tripathi has illegally occupied my property.
As soon as he heard this name, he threw my 15-page application on my face and asked me to leave his janata darbar.
I had neatly arranged all the documents from the IGRS (Integrated Grievance Redress System) portal (that records such complaints online), the order given by the DM, the CM's letter that he had given me on February 28.
'Get lost from here, you scoundrel. Nobody in this administration will help you,' he shouted at me.
What changed between February 28, when he gave you a letter addressing the SSP Lucknow in his own handwriting and promised that stern action will be taken against responsible people, and April 3, when you met him again and why did he throw your application on your face?
I don't know so I can't answer why he was favouring him (Amanmani Tripathi) or if he was in a foul mood because he meets so many people during the janata darbar.
Perhaps he had already run afoul of somebody else and I had to face the brunt of his anger.
Perhaps Amanmani Tripathi's name was responsible for his anger or perhaps he is favouring Amanmani.
I can't say anything.
All of you who watch TV must have seen that during voting for the Rajya Sabha elections, Aman was openly saying that he will do whatever Maharajji will ask him to do.
Perhaps, he voted for him (the BJP candidate in the Rajya Sabha elections).
So, he (the UP CM) must be returning his favour.
I know that he (Bisht) is a busy man and hundreds of people meet him every day with their problems.
I don't consider myself an important person who he would have remembered.
I don't think he must have remembered me on April 3 as the same person who had given me a letter addressed to the SSP Lucknow in the same case.
But I expected him to at least hear my plea patiently.
The DM Lucknow at his press conference claimed that your case was resolved by the special division magistrate on March 19 when she passed an order on the same.
Why then did you go to meet the chief minister on April 3?
I am not aware of this.
What is the matter then when an order has already been passed by the SDM court?
Let me explain the entire issue to you.
There are eight khatadharak (shareholders of the 22.5 bighas purchased by Singhal) of this land and all of them belong to the same family.
The land was owned by one R K Mishra.
A year ago to avoid land acquisition by the government according to the Ceiling Act he transferred the ownership in the name of his sister and daughter.
Vinita Malviya, Sunil Chaudhari, Ayesha Mishra, and others belong to the same family and we had purchased this land from them.
Amanmani's family too purchased the land from the same owners and their land abuts my land.
Two of the eight shareholders are Ayush Singhal and Singhal Developers Pvt Ltd.
The other people are Ajitmani Tripathi (Amanmani's brother), Madhumani Tripathi (Amanmani's mother, who is also in prison serving a life term in the Madhumita Shukla murder case), Mayashankar Singh (Amanmani's driver).
I have four notices from the SDM that asked all the eight shareholders to bifurcate the land.
But nobody came before the SDM and Amanmani didn't want this to happen in front of the SDM because he has illegally occupied my 22.5 bigha too.
When I met the SDM two days ago (on April 10, much after the order of March 19) she told me that if Amanmani Tripathi and you were to come to my office together we can decide in an hour which piece of land belongs to whom.
But he will never come to the SDM.
This piece of land has become a prime location as the honourable (Union home minister) Rajnath Singhji's dream project of the Outer Ring Road through Lucknow is passing in front of our land and the road is now almost complete.
How much did you pay for this land in 2012?
I paid Rs 3.5 crore (Rs 35 million), but now the value of the same piece of land is almost Rs 30 crore (Rs 300 million).
It is a rectangular piece of land in which one-third is owned by me and two-thirds is owned by the Tripathis.
So you don't know that a final order has been passed in this land dispute between you and the Tripathis by the SDM on March 19?
I have still not received a copy of the order, which I am hearing has gone in favour of the Tripathis.
The SDM madam (Neha Jain) told me that I will get it only after two weeks.
Why would it take two weeks for you to get a copy of the ruling?
She told me her file was at the DM and it will take two weeks for it to get back to her.
If she wants, she could get it in 15 minutes.
Now that you believe that the SDM's judgment has gone in favour of the Tripathis, will you again try to meet the chief minister?
It is just a one minute job for him.
He just has to call the DM and ask him to separate my piece of land from his (Amanmani's).
If you have all the documentary evidence to prove that the piece of land you claim belongs to you, then what is the issue in this case?
Whenever we go to fence our land, 40, 50 people with guns come and threaten us.
Just not his goons, but Amanmani personally threatens to eliminate me if I try to go ahead with this.
Whenever I set my foot along with my staff on my land with our labour and JCB machines, his man calls him up and Amanmani lands up within minutes with 50 goons in tow.
Didn't you file and FIR with the cops?
I have tried many times, but the police is of no help.
He (Amanmani) is an independent MLA from the area and when the CM supports him, there is nobody who can act against this man.