Head of the Gandhi Vidya Sansthan said he had moved a petition before Allahabad High Court alleging the government action violated an earlier high court order.
Uttar Pradesh government officials and police allegedly barged into a non-government institution that propagates Gandhian values in Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency, and said they were taking it over for a subsequent handover to a central government body.
Ram Dhiraj, head of the Gandhi Vidya Sansthan who described Monday’s alleged government takeover to The Telegraph on Tuesday, said he had moved a petition before Allahabad High Court alleging the government action violated an earlier high court order. The high court has reserved its order.
The 61-year-old Sansthan, which holds informal classes on Gandhian philosophy for anyone interested and brings out some publications, was founded by the late Jayaprakash Narayan and others and is run by a society, Dhiraj said.
“Government officials and the police came here at 4pm on Monday. They opened the gates without taking our consent and informed us they were handing the Sansthan over to the IGNCA to open a library. They immediately began construction here in the presence of the police,” Dhiraj said.
He said the officials who had barged in on Monday, citing a directive from the Varanasi divisional commissioner, had said the institute would be renovated and handed over to the Indira Gandhi National Centre of Art (IGNCA), which functions under the Union culture ministry.
On Tuesday, a local government official said on the condition of anonymity: “We have instructions to renovate the building of the Gandhi Vidya Sansthan and hand it over to the IGNCA as soon as possible.”…