Bengaluru: The Income Tax department Wednesday launched raids on the premises of a self-styled spiritual guru, Kalki Bhagavan, 70, and his son in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
The raids are under way across 40 locations, including the “world headquarters of the Kalki movement”, Golden City, at Varadaiahpalem in Andhra Pradesh.
The raids were triggered by a tip-off about alleged misappropriation of funds and tax evasion, sources in the I-T department said.
According to preliminary reports, the I-T raids were being conducted to acquire information about the investments made and donations received by the trust each year.
Sources in the department said Kalki’s son Krishna had made several investments in Chennai-based private companies by re-routing funds from the ashram.
The manager of the Kalki Ashram Trust, Lokesh Dasaji, has been detained for questioning regarding the institution’s transactions, ThePrint has learnt.
A formal statement from the ashram or the I-T department on the raids is awaited.
Started out as a LIC clerk
Born to S. Varadarajulu Naidu and V. Vaidarbhi on 7 March 1949, Vijayakumar Naidu started out as a clerk with the Life Insurance Corporation of India.
It is said Naidu and a close friend Shankar, who were then working with a school in Bengaluru, left their jobs in 1984 and started a residential school called Jeevashram in Chittoor to provide “alternative education and inculcate spiritualism” to the young.
By 1989, Naidu’s transformation as a spiritual guru was complete.
Many of those who attended Jeevashram claim to have seen Naidu as Kalki, believed to be the tenth avatar of Lord Vishnu, which is how his journey as a guru began.
Naidu subsequently renamed himself Kalki. His wife is considered an incarnation of Vishnu’s consort and called Amma Bhagavan.
The cult gained massive momentum and support and has been since quite popular across the country.
In 1992, Kalki set up a campus in Chennai, named Somamangalam, and by 1999 he also owned “Oneness University”, an institution to impart spiritual learning.
The institution gained media spotlight in 2008 when five people died in a stampede at the Chittoor ashram.