Narayan Sai- A long investigation ahead


Narayan Sai with father Asaram Bapu Pic: Indian Express

Narayan Sai with father Asaram Bapu
Pic: Indian Express

The big news for the day is the arrest of Narayan Sai, son of Asaram Bapu the self styled god man. He was arrested earlier today in connection with a rape case that took place in Gujarat. Will this be the extent of the investigation? The investigation into the acts allegedly committed by Narayan Sai will range from rape to attempt to murder to hawala to land deals and the police claim that they have ample material on all these aspects.

Narayan Sai according to the police has been a virtual partner in the alleged misdeeds committed by his father. Police sources tell rediff.com that Narayan Sai apart from abetting his father also has several crimes against his name and this will all be a subject matter of a very elaborate probe.

First and foremost the police will probe the rape charges against him. His body warrant may also be sought by the police from Indore who are looking into a hawala case against him.

They would now want to find out from Narayan Sai more details about his and his father’s involvement in a case relating to attempt to murder in Gujarat. Raju Chandak was allegedly shot by two unknown gun men at Ramnagar in Sabarmati on December 6 2009. The doubts against Asaram Bapu and his men grew since the incident came days after Chandak had filed a case against Asaram in connection with a land grab case.

This case in question which will be probed by the police is in relation to 67099 square metres of land which was said to have been encroached upon by Asaram Bapu’s ashram in Ahmedabad. The Gujarat government reclaimed this land in the year 2012.

The Gujarat CID will also go into the death of two boys in the Ashram in the year 2008. The two boys had gone missing and their bodies were found near Asaram Bapu’s Motera Ashram.

The other case of land grabbing involves the one on the Delhi-Pune highway which was allegedly grabbed in the year 2000. The land valued at Rs 700 crore measures around 200 acres and belonged to the Jayant Vitamins Limited. After the land was allegedly grabbed, it was being used by Asaram’s men, the complaint alleges.

In addition to these cases of land grabbing the police would also look into the role allegedly played by Narayan Sai in selling of fake medicine in the ashram. This case came to light following the death of Rahul Pachouri at the Jabalpur ashram. The complaint stated that he was poisoned in the ashram as he had information that fake medicines were being sold in this ashram.

The hawala racket allegedly run by Narayan Sai will be of interest to the Indore police. They have been studying this case indepth following the revelations made by Satish Wadhwani who has served as Narayan Sai’s cook, bodyguard and driver. It has been alleged that Sai was in touch with some businessmen in Indore with whose help he ran a hawala racket.

According to the investigation conducted by the police, Sai ran this hawala racket from his farm house in Sasdhna Sthali which is located around 3 kilometres from Asaram Bapu’s ashram on Khandwa road. The investigations further show that many businessmen from Indore met with Narayan Sai and with his helped allegedly parked black money. There are also several instances to show that many a time Narayan Sai helped these businessmen undertake hawala transactions. The police have not yet been able to give a proper estimate of the entire racket but claim that it could be anything between Rs 1000 and Rs 2000 crore.

The other complaint made against Sai by Wadhwani is relating to skin trade. He states in his complaint that at the farm house several teenage girls were seen and they were forced to indulge in sexual activities. There were nearly 300 girls aged between 15 and 18 who were forced into this act, the Indore police have been told.

For Rakesh Asthana the police commissioner of Surat the primary focus would however be the rape case for now. The rest would follow during the course of the probe, he says. There is a lot of evidence against Narayan Sai in this case and he will be booked for rape, sexual assault and illegal confinement.

To make matters worse for Narayan Sai, there is also a probe on by the Surat police in connection with a fake document case. It is alleged that he had used fake documents to seek anticipatory bail. The forged papers which were notarised suggested that Sai was undergoing treatment in AIIMS between October 9 and 15. This was to show that he was not part of the ashram at that time. However on investigation it was found that the notary file was missing and moreover it was one of his aides who had signed on Sai’s behalf.

Further on the money laundering probe, the Gujarat police too have collected vital evidence. Not only at Indore, but Sai was allegedly involved in a lucrative money lending business at the Revadi Bazaar in Ahmedabad. The money which was originally collected for the welfare of the Sindhi refugees from Pakistan was in circulation among businessmen the police claimed. It is alleged that the money was being lent at a four per cent interest rate for businessmen. The police would say that this is money laundering since the money was collected for someother purpose and is being used to double the money.

The police are now trying to join the dots to a 2002 raid that was conducted in New Delhi by the Income Tax department. During the raid at the jewellery shop they found stock that was not accounted for. It was alleged that most of the money was invested by Asaram and his son in this chain. Later on it was found that this jeweller imported duty free gold with the help of the money that was invested. The profits were shared and it is alleged that Asaram and his son had invested the same in real estate.

 The probe is not going to be an easy one for the police. Since both the father and son are now in custody, the police would very soon bring them face to face and cross question them. Prima facie it appears that both the father and son had committed all these act together and were in the know of each others activities. The investigation is expected to take a long time and the police from the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh will have nearly 1000 witnesses in these cases put together. Each of these police will seek the body warrants of the accused persons and commence their long probe.

(Story first published on rediff.com)

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