Chennai: The Income Tax seizures at self-styled godman Kalki Bhagvan's ashram, trust and the business premises of his son will make any person’s jaw drop.
The unearthed booty – in gold, diamonds and foreign currencies -- is valued at about Rs 500 crore. Of this, Kalki,' who claims to be the 10th 'avatar' of Vishnu, had stashed away Rs 93 crore in hard cash at his ashram and other premises.
This includes huge stashes of cash in foreign currency. The US currency alone is about $2.5 million (approximately Rs 18 crore). The former clerk of Life Insurance Corporation also had in his treasure trove 88 kg of undeclared gold jewellery, valued at Rs 26 crore and diamonds worth about Rs 5 crore.
According to the I-T department, the group had been investing in companies in India and abroad, including in tax havens. Some of these companies, based in China, the US, Singapore, the UAE, were receiving payments from foreign clients who attend the various residential "wellness" courses offered in India Interestingly, the I-T department has refrained from naming Kalki Bhagwan in its statement and instead restricted itself to describing him as a spiritual guru with "oneness" philosophy.
The department has further found that one of the group trusts may be providing accommodation entries to other parties by receiving donations from them and then returning the money back under the garb of expenses and receiving a small percentage as fee.
Instances have also been found where the group is not accounting for the money received from overseas clients in foreign currency and then exchanging the same in the grey market.
So who is this Kalki Bhagvan? Born as V. Vijaykumar in Vellore in Tamil Nadu, his family moved to Chennai in mid-1955. His father was said to be employed with the Indian Railways.
According to available information, Vijaykumar graduated in Mathematics from a city college and for some time worked with the Life Insurance Corporation.
In 1984, he started a school in Chittoor district and a few years later decided to focus on spiritual classes; after sometime, his disciples started calling him Kalki Bhagvan. The name stuck.
He built a second campus near here at Somangalam and in 1999, he started building the Oneness University.
In 2008, the university campus saw the death of five persons while several others were injured in a stampede. Several Bollywood actors and spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar also visited the university campus.
According to the I-T department, the group has also diversified into several sectors, including real estate, construction, sports, etc., both in India and abroad. The group is presently managed and controlled by Vijaykumar, who laid the foundation of the group, and his son Krishna.