I-T raid ashram of ‘Kalki Bhagwan’, premises linked to son’s biz associates
For the second consecutive day, Income Tax officials carried out raids on Thursday on the ashram of controversial self-styled godman ‘Kalki Bhagwan’ at Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh and premises of his son’s business associates in Chennai on Wednesday, two people familiar with the development said.
An IT department official said the raids are being conducted at 40 places, half of them in Chennai. The spiritual guru’s sprawling ashram, the headquarters of the godman near Chittoor, bordering Tamil Nadu, is also being search. The raid by IT department started on Wednesday morning.
Tax officials said the 70-year-old spiritual guru’s son, Krishna is said to have made heavy investments in ventures of his associates in which financial misappropriation is suspected. The raids followed intelligence tip off.
The spiritual guru, born Vijay Kumar Naidu, had started out as a clerk with Life Insurance of India. But, he quit his job to start an educational institution to provide alternative education at Rajupeta.
In 1989, after a business disaster, he went underground and later emerged in Chittoor district as Kalki, Lord Vishnu’s tenth avatar and his wife as the incarnation of the lord’s consort.
‘Kalki Bhagwan’, as he called himself, has sprawling ashrams in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
His promise of delivering instant nirvana had gone down well and today, counts rich Indians and NRIs among his followers.
His devotees attribute many miracles to him but he has his share of critics who have raised questions.
The ashram also hit the headlines in 2008 when five people died and many were injured in a stampede at the Chittoor ashram.
At the ashram, an ordinary darshan of the couple is priced at Rs 5,000 and special darshan at Rs 25,000.
The self-styled godman also faces allegations of land grabbing, a charge that his associates have rebutted in the past. In 2010, the Andhra Pradesh High Court had also heard a petition that sought action against him. There is no clarity on the outcome of the inquiry that was ordered.
There has been no reaction from Kalki ashram to the tax raids and the allegations against them. HT’s attempts to get a response from Kalki ashram also proved futile.