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Rediff.com  » News » Rape, murder, prostitution, hawala: The shady world of Asaram & son

Rape, murder, prostitution, hawala: The shady world of Asaram & son

Last updated on: December 04, 2013 16:40 IST

The shady world of Asaram & son

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Vicky Nanjappa

The disgraced 'godman' and his son apparently didn't leave any field of criminal activity untouched, says Vicky Nanjappa

Narayan Sai, son of self-styled ‘godman’ Asaram Bapu, ought to be a very worried man today. Sai was arrested from the Delhi-Haryana border by the Delhi crime branch on Wednesday. He had been absconding for months.

He is facing multiple investigations over a number of offences including rape, attempt to murder, running a prostitution racket, making hawala transactions and being involved in questionable land deals.

His 72-year-old father has been cooling his heels at the Jodhpur Central Jail since August for allegedly raping a 16-year-old girl.

The sheer audacity and range of crimes allegedly carried out by Asaram and his son has surprised even veteran police officials and delayed police investigations considerably.

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Image: Asaram Bapu
Photographs: Courtesy: http://www.ashram.org/

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The shady world of Asaram & son

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Vicky Nanjappa

While the Surat police will probe charges of rape against Narayan Sai, the Gujarat police will look into the father and son’s involvement in a case of attempted murder in Gujarat.

One Raju Chandak was shot by two unknown gun men at Ramnagar in Sabarmati on December 6, 2009. Incidentally, Chandak had filed a FIR against Asaram -- accusing the ‘godman’ of being involved in a case of land grab -- only a few days before the shooting.

Chandak had alleged that Asaram’s ashram in Ahmedabad had encroached upon 67,099 square metres of land that belonged to the state government. The Gujarat government had subsequently reclaimed the disputed piece of land.

The Crime Investigation Department of Gujarat police will also probe the mysterious deaths of two boys who were studying in Asaram’s ashram in Motera. The two boys had initially gone missing. Their mutilated bodies were found days later near ashram.

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Image: Narayan Sai
Photographs: Courtesy: http://shrinarayanpremsai.com/

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The shady world of Asaram & son

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Vicky Nanjappa

Asaram’s ashram has also been accused of usurping land worth Rs 700 crore on the Delhi-Pune highway in 2000.

Meanwhile, the Madhya Pradesh police will probe complaints about Narayan Sai selling fake medicines, in the wake of the death of one Rahul Pachouri at the ashram in Jabalpur. Pachouri was allegedly poisoned as he had information about fake medicines being sold in the ashram.

Indore police are investigating the damaging statements made by Satish Wadhwani, a long-time loyalist of Narayan Sai, who has claimed that his former boss ran a booming hawala racket along with some businessmen from the city.

Wadhwani had served as Narayan Sai’s cook, bodyguard and driver for years.

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Image: Narayan Sai
Photographs: Courtesy: http://shrinarayanpremsai.com/

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The shady world of Asaram & son

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Vicky Nanjappa

Police believe that Sai ran this hawala racket from his farmhouse, located near Asaram’s ashram on Khandwa Road, Indore, where he helped some businessmen park their black money in safe places.

Sai may have run a racket worth anywhere between Rs 1,000 and Rs 2,000 crore, says Wadhwani.

He has also accused Sai of running a prostitution racket involving minor girls. At the farmhouse, teenage girls aged between 15 and 18 years were forced to participate in sexual acts, Wadhwani reportedly told the police.

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Image: Asaram Bapu
Photographs: Courtesy: http://www.ashram.org/

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The shady world of Asaram & son

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Vicky Nanjappa

Surat police will, for the time being, focus on the rape case against Narayan Sai, said Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana, adding that the 'godman’s' son will be booked for rape, sexual assault and illegal confinement of the victim.

Surat police are also looking into reports about Narayan Sai seeking anticipatory bail by using fake documents. The forged papers, which were even notarised, suggested that Sai was undergoing treatment at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi between October 9 and October 15.

The document was used to prove to the court that Sai was not in the ashram at the time of the alleged rape. Investigations later revealed that the notary's file was missing and one of Sai’s aides had signed the documents.

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Image: Narayan Sai
Photographs: Courtesy: http://shrinarayanpremsai.com/

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The shady world of Asaram & son

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Vicky Nanjappa

Sai was also allegedly involved in a lucrative money lending business at Revadi Bazaar in Ahmedabad. The money, purportedly collected for the welfare of Sindhi refugees from Pakistan, was being lent to sundry businessmen.

This, say police, qualifies as a case of money laundering as the funds had been collected for charity but were being used for business purposes.

Delhi police are also trying to join the dots in another criminal case allegedly involving the duo.

During a raid on a jewellery shop in Delhi in 2002, the income tax department had found a stockpile of gold that was not accounted for in the establishment's inventory. Asaram and his son reportedly had made large investments in that particular jewellery chain to help the owners import duty free gold.

The illegally accumulated gold was shared equally by the father-son duo and the jewellers, believe Delhi police.

Soon, police are likely to get the colourful father-son duo in the same room and cross-question them on their many, many alleged illegal activities.

The investigation may take a long time as it involves tracking a range of criminal activities, police teams from various states and over a thousand witnesses.

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Image: Asaram Bapu
Photographs: Courtesy: http://www.ashram.org/

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