Ujjain : Since inception commercial shop allotment by the Simhastha mela authority in the Simhastha mela area has remained in controversies. First it was botched selection process, second bungled up allotment and now the Sadhu saints in the Simhastha mela area are not approving of the shops in front or near their pandals.
Around 10 newly installed shops were razed down by the supporters of Kankeshwari Devi, who is also attached with Agni akhara. The shop owners were chased away by supporters of woman saint and their shops were razed down by an excavator machine. The agitated shop owners who paid thousands were not given any help from the police or the civil administration. First the group of affected persons reached the Dutt akhara zone office, where no help was extended to them, later seeing no ray of hope, they reached the mela office located on Kothi road and created a protest.
The affected owners reached up to the office of mela officer Avinash Lavania and started raising slogans against mela authority. Mela officer Avinash Lavania paid heed to the cries of protesting shop owners, assuring them of action. He said, the shop owners need not fear a joint team of police and mela administration will visit the area to insure the smooth installation of shops. Out of 155 shops, location of 54 shops in the Dutt akhara zone was changed arbitrarily and was shifted elsewhere. 28 out of 54 shops were shifted near the camps of Kankeshwari Devi on the Mullapura-Bhukhi Mata temple link road; these 28 shops near camp of Kankeshwari were the eyesore and were razed down.
Interestingly, the police administration along with civil administration paid no heed to the pleas of the victims, like they already knew it was going to happen. Sources said involvement of big shot ruling party leaders, was the reason behind dullness of the police. Similar incident had occurred in front of Nirmala akhara on Barnagar road recently, where the akhara functionaries had confiscated the shops and paraphernalia of the shop owners, objecting the shops. Now the shop owners fear loss to income and life, if they settle shops in the Simhastha area. They said the mela administration did not look over all the aspects and now they are facing the ire of saints. Another reason behind Sadhu saints objecting the shops is that their own shop during Simhastha will face competition and will also blot their beauty!