Human Rights Violations – Victims of Asaram Bapu from Newspapers & TV clippings & Real court documents

February 27, 2009

Asaram Bapu and his son Narayan Prem Sai ashram are fraud Government admits

All his ashrams should be taken over by Army and then give it to people who live a life of slumdog

All ashrams are taken in by fraud cheating to people and public. Remember while taking over the proeprties how many murders they have done, and how many fmailies they have broken.

Here is news article in which government even admitted in parliament yes it’s a messed up ashrams.

GANDHINAGAR: Gujarat government has admitted in the Assembly on Tuesday that Asaram Ashram has encroached upon 67,099 square metres of land in Ahmedabad. In a written reply to a question asked by Congress MLA Shailesh Parmar, the state revenue department has said that 67,099 square metre land is under encroachment by Asharam Ashram in Ahmedabad and the Collectorate is dealing with the issue. On a supplementary question on what action has been initiated against the Ashram to free the land from encroachment, the government said that Dascroi tehsildar has issued a notice on January 30, 2009 under land revenue act. On February 17, hearing was held at the Collectorate where Deputy Collector heard the matter and once the entire process under the land revenue act is completed, further action will be taken accordingly, the department said.


January 7, 2009

Asaram bapu drinks blood after murdering and have sex with dead bodies too

Asaram bapu has taught his son narauan how to kill then have sex with dead bodies. he calls this ritual sadhna, when u do more sadhna you get more rich. In the process keep killing people and send our brainwashed followers to kill others who try to bring the truth out.  Blame everything is done by SIMI , pakistan  terrorists, oh now he started saying it’s done by christian missionaries.   These exact statements are made by asaram about simi and christians.   I wonder what SIMI or christians have to do with victims who are murdered by asaram, and three  murders he has ordered  in 2009 , it’s just 8th january today and asaram started this year with three murders. Guess what to hide murderes whose help asaram is taking == people who work for police department  administration in government.    These people are brainwashed by asaram and are under illusion that asaram is god but they work for the government and they have the power to misuuse powers. I wonder what educated IPS and IAS oficers are doing ?  We gave power of goernment to politicians but when i spoke to an IPS officer, he said we know asaram is corrupt whole department knows it, but we work for the gujarat givernment and i am doing job for the government so how can i go against my employer wishes.   What ?  really   it’s sad and sickening that asaram is allowed to murder people and still roaming free. Police didn’t even started the inquiry ….  Highcourt now ordered police to do their job and start inquiry.

Thug Asaram kuta has become pagal as his criminal activities are going public he is becoming more psychotic. Asaram should have been put in jail years ago for his crimes and murders he has done for years. Each of his ashrams are grabbed by force of innocent people who came under disguise of religion. Asaram blaming media and victims families for his durdasha now. Asaram is pathetic that he is abusing people who are asking for their land, their sons, their daughters back from his cult. Asaram made videos against people who speak the truth of him and bring his dark face and black crimes under white clothes. Asaram has so much black under the white that he even now made videos of victim girls who are willing to testify and told the real horror tales of ashram and how asaram seduces young brains inside ashram and take them away from their families to become goonda for his criminal network. Newspaper or TV only report when a 0 Victim approaches media with their horror life story because they are not getting justice in the legal system as asaram has disguised under the blanket of religion. asaram is not dharmik rather he is using Hinduism and giving our hindu region a bad name. In our hindu culture mata pita ki sewa is a dharma but asaram is thick skin when parents approach asaram to give their hand over their daughter back then asaram had the daughter file a police report against his own father. So many parents are still wondering what happened to their son/daughter in asaram ashram why asaram has not sent them back as they were told they are hired by the ashram as an employee but now asaram converted them as slaves to work for free, he even made them sign blank papers to sign over their assets to them which they are not part of as parents have taken all rights away from children to give away to asaram.

This ashram was listed on this site three months ago as asaram had full knowledge of this ashram when he had sent three gunmens to take over this ashram of aam wale baba. How a father of a 21 yr old son can fight to get his son out of asaram ashram when asaram has so many illiterate people following asaram under illusion. Some one elses son fights when one father tries to get his son out of asaram cult. We demand all asaram ashrams to be seized . All asaram properties should be taken over by government and given to NGO who are working under law. Asaram’s gun licenses to be cancelled. CBI should should watch asaram ashram and how 29,000 crores of cash is stashed in ashrams. Asaram has forged registry of 227 private houses in mumbai, asaram has taken over 337 homes in Delhi, asaram has over 1734 houses under his control and real owners whose family got involved with asaram as sadhak are now forced out of their homes, because asaram has forged registry of the houses owned by them. Asaram has some follower in police and in administration department who blindly take his orders and murder people who cry out loud after being raped by asaram.

What real hindu’s and guru’s are doing ? watching asaram to ruin our hindu culture ?
Asaram is a dark spot on Hinduism. Asaram is criminal who has been 
Asaram is behaving like Pakistan, Asaram still holding hostages in his ashram but he is denying. asaram is still sitting on the property which is owned by other but he is denying. Asaram still has the children of people who filed cases against asaram that he has taken their child away but asaram is denying. If government can’t get the truth from asaram then how can government think of fighting with Pakistan in the name of religion. Here a criminal killing Hindus in India and is roaming free under the disguise of religion and government is hoping to get criminals from Pakistan ? We request government to look in to this seriously as asaram is planning a mass murder now in his ashram to be blaming on Muslims and Christian missionaries, like he has blamed from last 4-5 months in all of his literature and videos he has posted to defame victims. Victims of asaram are victims of asaram and they are Hindus, they are blaming asaram. Asaram should be arrested for his heinous crimes, other wise our hindu religion is going down. Asaram will not stop his criminal activities and there are thousands and thousands of people are already his victims who are slowly slowly getting in their sense after abuse of years. it takes time for people to recover from the abuse they have beared in asaram ashram for years. Asaram ashram’s are like madrasa which are used by terrorists. Not all madrasa are owned by terrorist but all asaram ashram has thousands of victims brainwashed to die in the name of religion. Shame on Modi as he not only killed Muslims but helped asaram to kill Hindus also.   Day by day asaram has gone desperate to save his cult from being going down, but as history has it, people who become greedy and kill innocents do go down now matter who they were. but this time our hindu religion has been defamed due to criminal activities of asaram. 
What asaram is denying ? He doesn’t have the property which people have filed cases against him ? – Asaram still is sitting on those properties and his innocent sadhaks are used as terrorists to terrorize real owners.
What asaram is denying? he has not done murders = there are real witnesses of his murderers to who is buying these days by paying lakhs of rupees, but there are still so many ready to speak as witness if CBI takes over the case, as victims are not getting justice under Modi government and asaram has his brainwashed fanatic followers in CID who don’t even try to open the case and read the complaints against asaram , so how can victims will ever get justice ?
What asaram is denying – Asaram is not holding son/daughters of parents who filed cases against him – There are number of children who are missing, as told by insider they are murdered in ashram and no one knows, some who were located are still being used as slave and are not with their families. so what he is denying ?

What asaram is saying —-> SIMI Muslims and Christian missionaries have done propaganda to defame him …. Asaram is anti Indian, he doesn’t belive in religion rather, by making these statements in all of his preaching and in his pamphlets he sent to his followers he displayed that he is willing to have inter faith fight. he wants to disrupt peace of people by adding communal riots. We as hindu know Muslims have nothing to do with asaram or his victims rather Muslims and Christians Sentiments are hurt when asaram said statement like these to save his own criminal activities. these statements can be verified in all of his literatures in last 3 months and videos he has posted. Or it can be verified with any of his followers who have attended any of his meetings in last three months since asarams criminal activities came in limelight. Asaram want to disrupt peace of communal harmony just to save his black face. Asaram himself has done propaganda to disrupt communal harmony, he even filed an FIR claiming his ex follower have joined in Muslim Terrorists whereas people he filed FIR against don’t even have money to fight case against asaram as they have wasted 5-30 years inside asaram ashram under illusion.

We hindu’s need to unite and look with open eyes and think for a change rather just to have blind faith in a criminal who has disguised under the religion blanket. Asaram is using young children now under the age of 10 and made his videos to promote him. In all of those videos young child who has not even seen the world yet, has been made to praise asaram like he asaram has saved him from some sin. What a sin a child of 5 years old can do that he has to sing for asaram ? the only fault is that parents of that child are fanatic follower of asaram and they are not aware how many role models asaram has in ashram whose parents had dreams for their child but asaram ruined their life and made them slave to work in his ashram.  

Asaram should be hanged to death number of times the times he has raped young child. If asaram is hanged to death one time for one rape then asaram can’t have next 27,000 lives. so far we counted around 1,798 women were raped about 27,000 times by asaram, his son narayan and some of the politician friends of asaram. Murder, rape, drug abuse all is common in asaram ashram , and all cash stacked bundles are in hawala market which can be verified by any of the jeweler or builder in any city of India. Estimated asaram now has taken control of  47 thousand crores worth of properties & assetts , and not to mention all by forgery and sending his criminal goondas by murdering people. after control of property then asaram sends innocent sadhaks to take care of that property as ashram and seduce more people their for the illusion. 

People who have lost their childrens in his cult are clueless what to do.    Hopefully god will do justice soon.

November 9, 2008

रंडी या तवायफ के कोठे और आसाराम बापू के आश्रमो में सारी समानताएँ है!

रंडी या तवायफ के कोठे और आसाराम बापू के आश्रमो में सारी समानताएँ है!

दोनो जगह काम करने वाले कर्मचारियों को वेतन के नाम पर ठेंगा मिलता है

दोनो जगह कर्मचारियों के घर वालों को पता नहीं होता की उनके बचे कहाँ और क्या कर रहे है
दोनो जगह कर्मचारियों के घर वालों को कर्मचारी से मिलने नहीं दिया जाता
दोनो जगह कर्मचारियों के घर वालों को  अपना बचा वापिस लेजाने की कीमत वसूली जाती है
दोनो जगह कर्मचारियों के घर वालों को  अपना बचा वापिस लेने के लिए पुलिस और कोर्ट कचहरी के च्कर लगाने पड़ते है
दोनो जगह कर्मचारियों के घर वालों को इनके गुंडे परेशान करते हैं
दोनो जगह आने वाले लोग अँधा पैसा लूटा कर जाते हैपर कर्मचारी को कुछ नहीं मिलता पर वर्षो तक मानसिक और शारीरिक शोषण होता रहता है
दोनो जगह कर्मचारी धोखे से रखे जाते है
दोनो जगह कर्मचारियों को भय से भयभीत कर रखा जाता है
खाने के लिए पैसे दिए है तुम्हे  जिसके लिए उन्हे दिन रात काम करना पड़ता है
कोठे पर कोठे वाले दलाल और आसाराम  के अश्रमों में आसाराम  सारे पैसे ले जाते है
दोनो जगह करोड़ो रुपया की कमाई होती है पर कोई हिसाब सफेद में नहीं रखा जातासारा टॅक्स फ्री है
दोनो जगह  बड़े बड़े पुलिस के अधिकारीओं के पीछे से ताड़ जुड़े होते है
दोनो जगह राजनीतिक पार्टियों का संरक्षण है
दोनो जगह कितने ही कर्मचारियों को मौत के घाट उतार दिया जाता है अगर वो अपने घर वापिस जाने की बात करते हैं और उन हत्याओ का कोई लेखा झोखा नहीं होता, पर वहाँ के कर्मचारियों से विश्वास में ले कर या पुराने कर्मचारियों या करीब के लोगो से पूछने पर अनगिनत हत्याओं के मामले सामने दबी आवाज़ में खुलते है
दोनो जगह ज़हर से मार देने का उपाय पर्योग में लाया जाता है
दोनो जगह महिलाएं बिना शादी के ही माँ बन जाती हैपर दोनो जगहों पर इनके बचे कोख में ही मरवा दिए जाते है (गर्भपात), ताकि कर्मचारी काम करता रहे और धंधे को बदाता रहे
दोनो जगह पॉल खुलने और नंगे होने पर भी दोनो अपने धंधे को चलाने की कोशिश करते है
दोनो जगह जब आम आदमी जब मिल कर आवाज़ उठाते है तो  इनके धंधे बंद हो जाते है और समाज जाग जाता है
समाज अब जाग आया है

October 22, 2008

Clouded in controversy – India Today article

Clouded in controversy
Uday Mahurkar
July 24, 2008

India’s spiritual arena is getting as murky as its political one. The latest manifestation of this was the mysterious death of two students in godman Asaram Bapu’s ashram in Ahmedabad.

Following allegations that the mysterious deaths of the boys were related to tantric rituals, Bapu’s followers went on a rampage after they were beaten up by angry locals.

They attacked journalists and burnt vehicles. Even in the past, Bapu has been known to draw controversies. His rags to riches story is also questionable and fodder for debate.

From a mechanic at a cycle shop in Ahmedabad four decades ago to a spiritual guru with two crore followers and an empire worth Rs 5,000 crore, the rise of Asaram Bapu alias Asumal Thaumal Harpalani, 68, has been truly meteoric.

He may rank a few rungs lower than other gurus when it comes to scriptures, but his wealth surpasses that of many of his contemporaries.

His empire includes hundreds of acres of land in prime locations in India’s major cities, a flourishing business of over two dozen products that includes a clutch of ayurvedic medicines, incense sticks, soaps and shampoos besides spiritual magazines that net crores of rupees for him annually.

Bapu controls his country-wide empire through 400-odd trusts, of which two main ones-Sant Shri Asaramji Ashram Trust and Sant Shri Asaramji Mahila Utthan Trust- are based in Ahmedabad.

Asaram Bapu with his followers
Fear and violence have been Bapu’s hallmark, as the attack on reporters and others displayed. His diktat is enforced by his sadhaks (disciples), some of whom have also borne the brunt of his ire when they dared speak against some questionable activities in the ashram. They were terrorised and beaten up by their own fellowmen.
The latest to be hunted out of the Ahmedabad ashram is Dinesh Bhagchandani, 32, Bapu’s former driver and man Friday. He was charged with “indecent behaviour” with a sadhika (female disciple), an allegation his friends deny. Fearing for his life, Bhagchandani has fled Ahmedabad.

More than the fear factor is the money power the guru commands. Most of the controversies involving him relate to land deals across the country involving the ashram, which has 100 major centres located on huge tracts of land besides 1,200 satsang kendras.

One of the newest imbroglio involves over 30 acres of land in Surat worth around Rs 125 crore. Bapu’s disciples have encroached upon a part of government land on the banks of the Tapi river.

The original owner from whom the Government had bought the land has moved the court pleading that if the Government’s objective of making an embankment was not accomplished and someone else is the current owner, the land should be returned to him. Incidentally, land grabbing is one of the more serious charges that Bapu faces.

Another huge chunk of agriculture land bought five years ago by Bapu and his family members—his wife Lakshmiben, son Narayan, daughter Bharati and daughter-in-law Shilpa—in Pedmala in Sabarkantha district is also entangled in a legal wrangle.

A protest against the boys’ deaths
A local whistle blower, Ramesh Choksi, has complained to the district collector that the deal is illegal because Bapu and his family members bought the land by posing as farmers (only a farmer can buy agricultural land in Gujarat, according to the law).
Choksi alleged that Bapu and his family had manipulated records to declare themselves as farmers. The collector has held Choksi’s charges to be true.

Says Choksi, “A look at the land-related court cases in which Bapu and his followers are involved across the country would show that they are one of the biggest land grabbers in India. The Government should blacklist them and seize all their lands.

“Even Bapu’s 15-acre Ahmedabad ashram is clouded in controversy because the gurukul building on its premises is illegal. Not just that, the ashram land at Karol Bagh in Delhi and the 25-acre proposed ashram in Rajokri village near Delhi are also wrapped in court cases. We have had a very bad experience from Bapu’s disciples,” says Ohmvir Singh Chauhan, thakur of Panched near Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh.

According to Chauhan, in the early ’90s Bapu’s disciples encroached upon 26 acres of his family estate. This led to a court battle, but in the end the family had to sell the estate to the followers because it didn’t have the stomach to take on Bapu’s aggressive disciples.

Bapu’s business empire rests on the sale of over two dozen products across his satsang centres and other facilities. Insiders allege that ashram authorities manipulate records to avoid paying taxes.

The magazines—Rushiprasad, a monthly in several languages, and the fortnightly Lok Kalyan Setu, sell 14 lakh copies every month, netting around Rs 7.50 crore annually.

But the bigger grossers are the 50-odd satsang discourses Bapu delivers to his followers. Each two or three-day discourse nets Rs 1 crore via sales of associated products and what he gets from the organisers.

The biggest money spinners, however, are the three to four annual Gurupurnima functions during which Bapu receives donations running into crores of rupees.

The godman’s beginnings were humble. A non-matriculate, Bapu was born in Birani village near Nawabshah in Pakistan’s Sindh province before Partition forced his father Thaumal to flee to Ahmedabad when Bapu was seven years old.

In his 20s, he tried to seek the blessings of Leelashah Baba, who died in 1973. His ashram is in Adipur in Kutch. Says Hemant Kumar Tolani, Leelashah Baba’s disciple, “Asaram Bapu claims to be a disciple of Leelashah Baba. But the fact is that the baba never accepted him because he had severe reservations about him.”

Bapu’s ability to draw followers lies in a book called Panchamrut, a compilation of five major chapters based on Bapu’s speeches.

In one of the discourses called ‘Gurubhakti’, the book exhorts his followers to never question the guru, whether he is right or wrong.

The book compares the guru to Lord Shiva, with the threat that terrible curses would befall a disciple if he ever tries to undercut the guru or question his edict. Not stopping at that, it urges disciples to turn violent against the guru’s critics, going to the extent of even cutting off the dissidents’ tongue.

Says a former disciple of Bapu who deserted him on finding out his questionable activities: “The aim of the literature is to brainwash people so that they follow Bapu blindly and without reason.”

Another follower who parted ways with Bapu says, “His entire training process for his followers and disciples is designed to create an indelible impression in their minds that he is a divine being and therefore infallible and has to be followed by them in whatever he does, whether it is right or wrong.”

A series of well-managed pro-poor and impressive programmes, however, tend to cover up his controversial side, Bapu organises well publicised welfare programmes.

His ashrams run medical services, distribute free food grain among the poor, who form the bulk of his followers. His anti-addiction programme is also another big draw.

Not surprisingly, Bapu avoids the media when it comes to questions about the controversies. Uday Sanghani, the ashram’s spokesman, counters the charges on the godman’s behalf.

“These empty allegations about illicit land deals, money-making and violence by Bapu and his followers are a creation of those who have not been able to stomach Bapu’s rise and his acceptability among the masses as a spiritual master,” he says.

“These people are finding newer and newer ways of upsetting Bapu’s applecart. But Bapu is undisturbed by their antics as his mission is that of awakening the people at the spiritual level,” Sanghani adds.

With the controversy involving suspicious deaths and attacks on the media, the man behind the “saint” may finally be revealed.


Violence hits the streets as Asaram Bapu’s disciples and locals go on a rampage after charges of human sacrifices.

Last week when Praful Vaghela broke his fast at the insistence of Chief Minister Narendra Modi, the state Government heaved a sigh of relief.

Vaghela had been on an eight-day-long fast to demand justice and a CBI probe for the deaths of his son Abhishek, 9, and nephew Dipesh, 10. He alleges that the boys were killed by tantriks in a human sacrifice at Asaram Bapu’s ashram in Ahmedabad.

Journalists protest attacks by Bapu�s followers
For almost a week, citizens, political parties, leftist organisations, social groups and common citizens had led violent protests on the streets of Ahmedabad. They torched vehicles and clashed with Bapu’s followers in a burst of frenzy whipped by public revulsion against the godman.
On July 3, the two boys had gone missing from the ashram, where they were studying. Two days later, their bodies were found in the dry bed of the Sabarmati river by locals.

One of the corpses had body parts missing, a possible indication that they had been killed in a human sacrifice as crucial body parts of children are normally used by tantriks in their rituals. The other body’s ears had been eaten away by dogs. Bapu’s initial silence over the issue only inflamed passions of local residents.

Then came the police statement that the deaths had occurred due to drowning and that the bodies had been eaten by dogs, which only added fuel to the already simmering dissent.

Bapu’s initial silence and his belated statement that there was an attempt by his enemies to create a wedge between the people and the Sant Samaj only caused further provocation.

The last straw was when rioters attacked Bapu’s followers, who retaliated by beating up journalists and residents around the ashram who had been supporting the protests.

The post-mortem report has not provided a clear reason for the deaths of the boys. It revealed that the sternum and liver of one of the boys was missing. The state Government has promised Vaghela an impartial probe.

“If I don’t get justice, I will renew my demand for a CBI probe,” says Vaghela. Till then, the suspicions and ugly rumours swirling around the ashram will continue to grow.

October 2, 2008

Still waiting for narco of asaram sadhak – Verdict in Asaram narco test adjourned till October 4

Ahmedabad, September 20 Chief Metropolitan Magistrate D M Patel on Saturday adjourned the verdict in the narco-analysis test case of two ‘sadhaks’ (disciples) of the Asaram Bapu Ashram till October 4.
Though no criminal case was registered against Pankaj Saxena and Yogesh Bhati, the two sadhaks, the CID (Crime) had sought permission to conduct narco-analysis tests in a bid to dig out the truth following the mysterious deaths of two minor boys at the Ashram gurukul.

The prosecution counsel contended that it was necessary to conduct the narco-analysis test on the two disciples to unravel the mystery surrounding the deaths of the two children.

The prosecution also contended that there was no need to obtain consent of the suspects. He said the Gujarat High Court, in a recent order in the case of Santokhben Jadeja vs State of Gujarat had held that there was no need to seek consent of the accused to conduct scientific test or narco-analysis.

He was, however, strongly opposed by defence counsels Rohit Verma and Bharat Joshi. They argued that the present case could not be compared to the Santokhben case as the latter was an accused while the two disciples are not. The two disciples had earlier refused to undergo the test.

Asaram Bapu, Asaram Bapu Photos, asaram, asaram bapu ashram, asaramji, asaramji bapu, asarambapu news

September 11, 2008

Narayan Sai fails to turn up for questioning

AHMEDABAD: Narayan Sai, son of Asaram Bapu, did not turn up before CID (crime) officials on Tuesday. He had been given two days to report before the CID for questioning in connection with the mystery deaths of two students of Asaram Gurukul – Dipesh and Abhishek Vaghela.

CID officials also confessed that they did not have any idea of probable location of Narayan. According to CID (crime) officials , Narayan could not be contacted on Tuesday when the officials tried the phone numbers of his ashram and even some of his devotees.

“The next action will soon be devised on the basis of the reply we have got. Sai has failed to turn up, worsening the case for himself. It was supposed to be a routine questioning, as he had been in touch with Asaram Gurukul in Motera,” said a CID official.

The officials also said that Sai does not have any charges against him but they wanted to confirm his role in the episode following media reports . Sai was called upon for a routine check.

Narayan Sai has a separate ashram in Gambhoi in Sabarkantha. He also visits Asaram various ashrams across the country.

Various people have claimed to have provided investigating officials enough proof against the father-son duo.

September 2, 2008

Seize Asaram Bapu’s passport: Congress leader

Ahmedabad, Aug 9 (IANS) The passport of religious leader Asaram Bapu should be temporarily seized till the probe into the death of two children in a school run by his ashram here is completed, said Gujarat Congress vice president Ashok Punjabi.

With pressure mounting on Asaram Bapu, he may try to get away to a safe haven abroad. Punjabi told IANS Saturday.

‘We are calling for the case to be handed over to the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation). Four deaths have taken place in a short span,’ he said.

Dipesh Vaghela, 10, and his cousin Abhishek Vaghela, 11, were found dead on the riverbed near the ashram at Motera here July 4, and their parents suspect found play. Within a month two more children studying in Asaram Bapu’s ashram gurukuls in Chhindwara district of Madhya Pradesh were found dead in unusual circumstances.

Punjabi also criticised the Gujarat police for not giving permission to the Jagega Gujarat Sangharsh Samiti, a group of organisations seeking thorough investigations, to hold a 72-hour protest at the Income Tax circle here.

‘We have taken this matter to high court and the hearing is on Monday,’ Punjabi said

September 1, 2008

Ahmedabad bandh against asaram ashram deaths

AHMEDABAD: Ahmedabad came to a standstill on Friday over the mysterious death of two boys at an ashram run by spiritual leader Asaram Bapu.

The Congress-backed bandh called by residents was marred by violence and attacks on journalists allegedly by supporters of Asaram Bapu.

Mobs, angry over the tardy pace of police probe into the deaths, torched vehicles and pelted stones at several places. The decomposed bodies of cousins Abhishek Vaghela (11) and Dipesh Vaghela (10) were found on July 6 on the banks of Sabarmati river near Sardar Patel stadium, about 2.5 km from Asaram Bapu Gurukul.

The boys, reported missing by the Ashram authorities a few days before their bodies were found, were enrolled in class V and VI.

On Friday, Asaram Bapu went to the house of Diptesh’s father Praful Vaghela but was barely there for three minutes before he was hounded out.

Vaghela, who has been observing ‘maun vrat’, or vow of silence, for the last four days to protest the deaths of his son and nephew, ordered that all the things the Bapu had touched be burnt. Even the mat he sat on was set ablaze.

Vaghela has alleged that the boys were killed and thrown into the river after some esoteric ritual at the ashram. Police are yet to search a cellar in the ashram which is guarded by white robed men.

VP had almost solved Ayodhya imbroglio

VP had almost solved Ayodhya imbroglio
Kishore Kunal is known as much for his impeccable integrity as for streamlining the functioning of various temples in Bihar.

When he was in the IPS, the mere mention of his name used to send shivers down the criminals’ spine. A Gujarat cadre officer, who served in Bihar for more than 20 years in different capacities, right from Senior SP of Patna to IG, CISF, Kishore Kunal is known as much for his impeccable integrity as for streamlining the functioning of various temples in Bihar.

Having opted for VRS in 2001, Kunal, as chairman of the Bihar State Religious Trust Board, has today virtually turned Bihar temples into money-spinners. No wonder, a cancer hospital, an eye institute which is an extension of Shankar Netralaya of Chennai, and various schools are being run under the aegis of Mahavir Mandir Trust. And all this with the offerings from lakhs of devotees across the state.

The man, who has the rare distinction of having worked closely with three Prime Ministers, V P Singh, Chandra Shekhar and P V Narasimha Rao, took time off from his hectic schedule to talk exclusively with Abhay Kumar of Deccan Herald.

Kunal dwelt at length on various issues ranging from his stint as a member of Ayodhya cell in the PMO, as an OSD in MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs), besides his experience as a vice-chancellor of a Sanskrit university. Kunal also shed light on how he had tightened the noose around the much-revered Asharam Bapu who, he says, has usurped property worth Rs 2 crore in Patna. Excerpts:

Deccan Herald: Asharam Bapu is a widely respected man, and has a fan following across the globe. Why have you charged him with forgery?

Kishore Kunal: The irony is that the man who gives sermons to lakhs of people on various TV channels, is quite the opposite in real life. I know him since 1978 when I was the DCP of Ahmedabad. In Patna itself, he has forcibly occupied land and property worth Rs 2 crore in Kadamkuan area where his ashram runs in an “unlawful” manner. The 13-kattha land of his ashram actually belongs to Bhisma Das Thakurbari. We have served a second notice on him to vacate the premises. His response is awaited.

DH: There are many illegal things going on in various temples…

KK: (Interrupts) That is why I am here to check such malpractices. As chairman of the Bihar State Religious Trust Board, I have identified and punished various mahants who have been found to be womanisers or have embezzled temple funds worth crores.

DH: Your no-nonsense approach fetched you a posting in MHA and then PMO.

KK: True. I was asked to come over to Delhi in June 1990 and be a part of the team which was negotiating with the VHP and the Babri Masjid Action Committee for an amicable solution to the Ayodhya imbroglio.

DH: But those talks remained futile?

KK: V P Singh had almost solved the problem. I was privy to the strategy worked out in October 1990, but then Lalu’s order to arrest Advani in Bihar poured cold waters on our plan. I remember, Bukhari, too, expressed the desire that Advani’s arrest should be deferred as he genuinely wanted that VP should continue as PM till a solution was arrived at. But after Advani’s arrest, the BJP immediately pulled the rug.

DH: You were retained by the Chandra Shekhar regime to carry on the negotiations.

KK: Chandra Shekhar, contrary to the general perception, was quite focused and had his mind on this vexed issue. Tragically, two senior politicians who were also governors of two different states played the spoilsport. I won’t name them, as they are no more.

DH: Why then did Narasimha Rao opt for your services to broker peace between the VHP and Bukhari?

KK: It was Naresh Chandra in Rao’s team who had heard me talk tough when Vinod Chandra Pande was the Cabinet Secretary. I had rebuked two senior-most VHP members in MHA office when they told me “Hum Hindu Rashtra banane ki baat kar rahe hai, aur aap mandir banane ka formula bata rahe hai”.

DH: Then…

KK: My neutral stance stood me in good stead. This is precisely why the then Defence Minister Sharad Pawar, who was working as Rao’s pointsman to resolve Ayodhya tangle in November 1992 asked me to rush to his place. But after Kalyan Singh went back on his words, which he had pledged during the NIC meet and gave the karsevaks ample time to carry out their agenda, there was nothing much left to be done.

DH: Further talks on Ayodhya now?

KK: Unfortunately, the Vajpayee government never sought my services. So I was back in Bihar as DIG, CISF. However, I shifted to Gujarat in March 2000 and took VRS in May 2001 after serving there as ADG (Prisons).

DH: How come you were made a Vice-Chancellor in Lalu raj?

KK: This impression needs to be dispelled. Actually, I was appointed by Bihar Governor V C Pande, with whom I worked closely in Delhi when he was the Cabinet Secretary during VP’s regime. But I must admit that neither Rabri Devi nor her Education Minister ever interfered in my work.

DH: As chairman of the Bihar Religious Trust Board, you turned the Mahavir Mandir into a cash cow.

KK: This is just one example. From Rs 11,000 in 1987, this mandir has now shown a profit of Rs 3.4 crore. After meeting the expenses of religious rituals, I use the surplus fund for running hospitals and schools.

DH: With immense popularity, have you ever thought of entering Parliament as a Lok Sabha member?

KK: Since 1984 to 2004, I have received several such proposals. But I have always turned down the offer, as most of my ambitions have been fulfilled. The only wish unfulfilled is not having solved the Ayodhya imbroglio. That I will do some day.

Cult & Controversy: the story of Asaram ashram

Ahmedabad, August 10: For the phenomenally influential religious guru, Asaram Bapu, his 37-year-long spiritual career had never been a cakewalk and the four mysterious deaths in his ashramss here and in Madhya Pradesh and the public ire he has been courting are only the latest that he hopes to shrug off.

His spiritual domain is spread across 300 ashrams throughout India, as also in the US, with lakhs of his followers and admirers flooding his commune with funds. Sixty-seven-year-old Bapu has even delivered a speech at the parliament of world religions.

Few controversies connected with his ashrams have invited media attention the way the deaths of four children in his two ashrams — in Ahmedabad and Chhindwara — did in just one month. His ashram, in both the cases, is facing serious problems, with investigators finally getting down to grilling inmates of the ashrams in connection with the deaths.

Asaram Bapu may not have had to look back ever since he set up his first kutia or hutment in Motera village here in 1971, but the path had all along been strewn with scandals.

Sindh-born Asaram, who had migrated to Ahmedabad with his parents during Partition, is facing about dozen-odd cases at different places — all of them pertaining to alleged land grabbing by his Sant Asaram Bapu Trust. One of the villagers in Motera, Ashok Thakore, has moved the court to get back five acres of his family’s land allegedly grabbed by the ashram. According to Thakore, the land is situated adjoining the ashram and was used for erecting tents on the Guru Purnima day. Permission to this effect was given by his father to the ashram. After his father’s death, the ashram grabbed it by saying that Thakore’s father had ‘gifted’ it to the ashram. However, the ashram has not been able to substantiate its claim with proofs.

In another case, Anil Vyas, a farmer from Jehangirpura village near Surat, where the ashram is facing several allegations of land grabbing, is fighting a prolonged battle for recovery of his 34,400 square metres of prime land from the ashram. According to Vyas, despite the fact that the ashram’s claim over the land was challenged in the court, the state Government regularised the unauthorised encroachment on January 24, 1997. However, the Gujarat High Court on December 8, 2006, held the regularisation illegal and decreed in favour of the farmer. The Ashram then appealed to the Division Bench against the order.

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.

When the Gujarat Government in 2005 decided to rejuvenate the Saraswati river by filling long tracts of land considered to be the vestiges of the mythical river at Sidhpur town in Mehsana district, Asaram Bapu was the chief guest at the launch of the project. Though there are other religious leaders in the state, inviting him to such a high-profile programme as the chief guest explains the popularity of the man among the ruling party.

Again, when the state Government temporarily launched Vande Gujarat TV channel, telecasting its developmental achievements on the eve of December 2007 Assembly polls, the channel regularly carried footages of Asaram Bapu.

This explains the clout of Asaram Bapu whose religious movement has taken the shape of a cult, having followers in every section of the society. With his influence growing, there are many politicians, including Minister of State for Home Amit Shah, visiting his ashram regularly.

Senior BJP leader L K Advani is also believed to be one of the regular visitors to the ashram. The Ashram manager in Ahmedabad, Arvind Patel, is a senior BJP functionary.

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