Bhopal: The 'Siddha Pahar' in Satna district of Madhya Pradesh, which has mythological significance, has suffered damage on account of illegal mining, a lawyer has alleged.
"The 'Siddha Pahar', where Lord Ram pledged to eliminate demons from earth, has allegedly suffered large scale damage due to rampant illegal mining," High Court lawyer Nityanand Mishra, who has taken up the cause of the mountain, told reporters.
Among the various places that Lord Ram is believed to have visited during his 14-year-long exile period, 'Siddha Pahar' and 'Sarbhanga Ashram' in Satna are the sites where he had spent a lot of time. These facts also find reference in various religious texts, Mishra claimed.
"This is happening despite the fact that the ruling BJP government in Madhya Pradesh had announced to develop 'Ram Van Gaman Path', where these two places exist, for promoting religious tourism," Mishra said.
He further alleged that despite several communications to the district administration and Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's office, no action was taken to curb it. According to official records, the government had allowed mining near 'Siddha Kotar', adjacent to 'Siddha Pahar' until 2008, Mishra said.
"Even after the expiry of this mining lease, illegal mining continued rampantly in the areas that had partially damaged the mountain," the lawyer alleged.
Madhya Pradesh Energy and Mining Minister Rajendra Shukla told reporters, "The lease in question has been cancelled by the district administration in 2008 and despite that if mining is going on, then certainly it is illegal."
"I will ask the Collector to look into the matter immediately," Shukla said. Mishra said records also indicate that the government has given nod for mining bauxite till 2020 near the 'Sarbhanga Ashram', believed to be of seer Sarbhang, whom Lord Ram met there during his exile.