Cult &Controversy:thestry of Asaram ashram
Syed Khalique Ahmed Posted: Aug 11, 2008 at 0135 hrs IST
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A Delhi-based widow, Sudarshan Kumari, is also fighting a legal battle against Asaram Bapu whose Trust, she alleges, had fraudulently got some papers signed by her. The paper later turned out to be a ‘gift deed’ to the ashram. The documents say that she has gifted the ground floor of her house in Rajouri Garden, New Delhi, to the ashram. According to her complaint, on July 6, 2000, on the pretext of taking her to Asaram satsang, she was taken to the office of Sub Registrar in Janakpuri, New Delhi. One of the inmates of the ashram, identified as Mani Kaka, hypnotised her and made her sign a number of documents, without allowing her to go through the content.
The other person who signed the papers there, according to her, was Narayan Swamy, son of Asaram Bapu.
She came to know about the gift deed when officials from the Municipal Committee of Delhi came to confirm it.
The ashram authorities at Rajokri village, near Gurgaon, have allegedly forged documents pertaining to the registration of the ashram. Bhagwani Devi, a resident of Rajokri, has also approached the Delhi High Court levelling allegations of land grabbing against Asaram’s Rajokri ashram.
Even Government agencies have levelled allegations of land grabbing against Asaram’s Trust. A few months ago, the Bihar State Board of Religious Trusts (BSBRT) had served a notice to the Trust’s headquarters in Ahmedabad, asking it to vacate a land belonging to BSBRT, worth Rs 80 crore. And in April 2007, a retired judge of the Patna High Court had filed a criminal complaint in Kadamkuan police station, Patna, alleging grabbing of his land by Asaram Bapu and others.
In Ratlam, Asaram’s Trust had to vacate a piece of land after a prolonged litigation. In January 2007, power theft amounting to Rs 4.7 lakh was detected from his Rajkot ashram.
Despite all these cases and allegations, Asaram Bapu’s popularity is on the rise — particularly among the ruling party politicians in the state. “It is due to the clout of Asaram that no criminal case was registered against any of his ashram-members nor was anyone from the ashram arrested after the two boys of his gurukuls died under mysterious circumstances,” said a rebel BJP leader, requesting anonymity.
The popularity of Asaram can be gauged from the fact that his photographs can be spotted in every Government office across the state and even state transport corporation’s buses display his photos and messages.