Baba's Rs 12k-cr dispute behind violence

Baba's Rs 12k-cr dispute behind violence

Mathura turmoil: Jai Gurudev made his driver Pankaj sole inheritor of assets

Baba's Rs 12k-cr dispute behind violence

Thursday’s violence at Jawahar Bagh Park in Mathura could be the result of a festering dispute over self-proclaimed “Baba” Jai Gurudev’s Rs 12,000 crore empire.

Ram Briksh Yadav, the leader of the sect, whose members fought a pitched battle with the cops when the latter reached the park to evict them on Thursday, was a follower of Jai Gurudev.

Jai Gurudev, who used to preach a simple life and taught his disciples to wear jute clothes, has left behind thousands of acres of prime land, a fleet of luxury vehicles, including BMWs and Mercedes Benz, and huge bank deposits. 

The assets were controlled by a trust of which Yadav was the chief.

Jai Gurudev, who died in 2012, made his driver Pankaj the sole inheritor of the assets leaving two other claimants-Ram Briksh Yadav and Umakant Tewari-sulking.There was a tussle among Jai Gurudev’s followers over his legacy. The disciples had anticipated trouble during the announcement of the heir and a large police force was present when it was made a few days after his death at Mathura.

The anointment of Pankaj was slammed by the other camps. They had raised slogans against the decision and then left the venue in protest. Their supporters had made it clear they would not accept the decision and would take legal action.

Yadav, who also commanded some support among the followers, was expelled from the sect following complaints. After being expelled he galvanised support from among the disciples and shifted to the sprawling Jawahar Bagh Park. 

The local administration, on an application by Yadav, allowed him and his 200-odd supporters to use the park for two days in 2014 for a peaceful agitation.

Yadav, a native of Uttar Pradesh’s Ghazipur district, never left the park and gradually the number of occupants also rose to around 3,000, including women and children. He called in his supporters from Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and some other states. He also formed a separate outfit and claimed to follow the ideals of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.

Sources in the police here said that Yadav intended to turn the park into an “ashram” for his supporters and eyed the hefty donations given by Jai Gurudev’s followers.  

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