900 acres of land owned by godman Kalki attached

900 acres of land owned by godman Kalki attached

The income Tax department has provisionally attached more than 900 acres of land owned by self-styled godman ‘Kalki Bhagwan’, who has a dedicated following in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, in the aforesaid three states.

While more than 400 acres of land have been attached in Sathyavedu in Andhra Pradesh’s Chittoor district bordering Tamil Nadu, the remaining land parcels are located in Belagavi in Karnataka, and Arani, Ooty, Madurai and Coimbatore, sources in the department said.

The sources said the properties were attached provisionally on Thursday for 90 days under Section 24(3) of the Income Tax act. The move comes two months after the I-T sleuths detected that the self-styled godman has evaded tax to the tune of Rs 500 crore.

During five-day long searches in ashrams and premises owned by Kalki and his son, the I-T sleuths had recovered huge amount of cash – Rs 43.9 crore in INR and 18 crores in USD -- and 88 kg of gold valued at 26 crores.

‘Kalki Bhagwan’ is popular in the aforesaid three southern states with a dedicated following among men and women and runs ashrams across South India. Karnataka also has several Kalki Bhagwan and Amma Bhagwan ashrams across the state.

The provisional attachment was made possible after the sleuths recovered incriminating documents from ashrams and other premises owned by the father-son duo.

The self-styled godman, who faces allegations of land grabbing in Chittoor district in Andhra Pradesh, began his career as a clerk with Life Insurance Corporation of India. In the 1990s, Kalki Bhagwan became quite popular in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh with thousands of devotees thronging his ashram at Nemam near Chennai.

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