|Pratap Reddy speaking at a meeting in Bellary|
The Hindu: 3 Days Ago (April 15, 2012): The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), Bangalore, plans to set up a giant kitchen here under its Akshaya Patra scheme to prepare midday meals for about three lakh students in Bellary and neighboring districts. It also plans to construct Krishna and Venkateshwara temples on 10 acres of land donated by Congress leader N. Pratap Reddy.
“The proposed kitchen will be the largest in the country. The plan is to develop the kitchen in a phased manner. In the first year, facilities will be created for cooking food for one lakh schoolchildren and it will be expanded in the next two years to reach the target of three lakh,” Chanchalapati Das, vice-chairman of the Akshaya Patra Foundation and vice-president of ISKCON, Bangalore, told mediapersons here on Friday.
Mr. Das said that the estimated cost of the kitchen, comprising building, infrastructure and vehicles, was Rs. 20 crore.
The Hindu: Today (April 19, 2012): A group of people from Bandihatti area here have cried foul over the donation of 10 acres of land by Congress leader N. Pratap Reddy to the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) recently for setting up a kitchen for preparing midday meals under the Akshaya Patra scheme, and for the construction of two temples.
Addressing a joint press conference here on Monday, Riyaz, K.S. Venkobanna, K. Mohan, A. Hussainappa and K. Papanna, all claiming to be in possession of some land in the Bandihatti area for over six decades, alleged that Mr. Reddy had got about 134 acres illegally registered in his name with fake documents.
“There is a dispute pending in the court in this regard, even as several other cases are pending against Mr. Reddy. We have also lodged a complaint with the Karnataka Lokayukta. Under these circumstances, donating the land is illegal and it amounts to contempt of court,” Mr. Riyaz said. According to him, the ‘inam' land in the Bandihatti area was initially in the name of Brahma Shastri, and later it passed into the hands of the government. Between 1972 and 1982, the government distributed about 1,085 acres among 185 people, along with pattas. “Since then, the land is in our possession,” he said, and added that the piece of land said to have been purchased by Mr Reddy did not have any title.
Meanwhile, Mr. Reddy, on April 13, transferred four out of the proposed 10 acres to ISKCON, and the deed has been registered.
Mr. Riyaz said that a memorandum would soon be submitted to the Deputy Commissioner mentioning all the facts of the case, with an appeal to view the matter seriously and ensure justice to the genuine land-holders.
When contacted, Mr. Reddy refuted the charge, stating that he was in possession of clear titles to the land. “The ISKCON personnel have obtained legal opinion before accepting the land,” he said.