Bhopal-: A video from Budhni, the assembly seat of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, is going viral, featuring two sisters requesting euthanasia from the CM. Allegedly, the girls claim harassment by individuals within the administration. The viral video showcases Aastha and Muskaan, daughters of Sujan Vishwakarma from Budhni Ghat in Sehore district, submitting an application during Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's road show.
In their complaint to the Chief Minister, the girls alleged harassment by BJP officials and government representatives in their assembly constituency, concerning the construction of their ancestral house.
Sujan Vishwakarma's ancestral house was situated on the Narmada Ghat in Budhni. He demolished the old house and commenced construction of a new one, along with a shop in the same location. The Vishwakarma family possesses land lease documents and received a land rights letter for this house. However, on October 25, during the construction of Sujan Vishwakarma's house, the Budhni Municipal Council's Chief Municipal Officer (CMO) and the police abruptly halted the construction without prior notice. They also evicted the Vishwakarma family from the property. As a result, the construction on the house has remained incomplete, compelling Sujan's family to reside in a nearby rented house.
According to Muskaan, the family was allotted residential lease of the house by the Collector's office in August 2023. Nonetheless, when they started construction on the leased land, the CMO and Tehsildar, allegedly influenced by the BJP leaders, arrived at the house with a JCB. They confiscated all construction materials and machinery, causing distress and threatening the family with legal action. Frustrated by the forced work stoppage and the authorities' behaviour, the sisters recorded a video detailing the incident, even requesting euthanasia due to their distress.
Sujan Vishwakarma expressed deep distress, mentioning that despite obtaining the lease, the administration obstructed the house construction. Despite applying for building permission a month prior, the authorities persistently halted the construction. The house, which has been home to three generations, is located in a bustling area due to its proximity to the Narmada Ghat, attracting people due to its religious significance.
The girls said that permission for construction was not granted even after applying. As an ancestral house, Sujan lacked the house's registry. However, both his father and grandfather resided in the same house. Given his extended occupancy, Sujan's name is registered in the Municipal Council's house register number 1000019001. The house's tax has been completely paid, yet the construction registry is linked only in the Municipal Council's online portal.
In response, Sujan penned a letter on September 1, 2023, seeking permission for the new house construction. However, after more than a month, no action was taken on the application, and it was neither accepted nor rejected. Nevertheless, when Sujan began roofing the house, the CMO abruptly halted the work without any notice. Sujan's family claims that the current BJP ward councilor, Shrikant Sharma, is harassing them by collaborating with the administration.
Sujan mentioned a criminal case filed against Shrikant Sharma in October 2012. He recounted an incident on the night of October 11, 2012, when Shrikant Sharma allegedly vandalized the Durga pandal at Budhni Ghat and assaulted a woman. At that time, Shrikant Sharma held the position of the city vice president of Yuva Morcha. Sujan, who witnessed the incident, gave a statement against Shrikant at the police station. Consequently, Sujan believes that Shrikant is seeking revenge by becoming a councilor and is now harassing Sujan's family by colluding with Municipal Council officials.
Sanjay Sharma, former councillor of ward number 10 of Budhni Municipal Council, told The Mooknayak that the house's age is estimated to be around 90 years old. He emphasized Sujan Vishwakarma's long-standing residency and the family's attempts to gain construction permissions. However, the application was neither processed nor rejected, and the construction was abruptly halted by the CMO.
The case proceeded to Budhni Civil Court after the construction was stopped. The court ruled that the administration had no valid reason to hinder the construction, emphasizing that the applicant was building on identified land without encroachment. The court issued an order to the Collector of Sehore to refrain from intervening or obstructing the house's construction.
Upon reaching out to Budhni Municipal Council CMO Satish Malviya, he cited that the matter is sub judice, limiting his comments. He clarified that building permissions are solely processed through the online portal, denying any bias or influence by the BJP councillor Shrikant Sharma as alleged by Sujan's family.
Responding to the allegations, Councillor Shrikant Sharma denied any enmity, asserting that the family's accusations were baseless. He mentioned a previous notice of encroachment sent to Sujan Vishwakarma by the Municipal Council in 2014 and emphasized that a request has been raised to investigate about the house lease given to Sujan.