The 77-year-old, self-styled godman Asaram who was convicted for raping a 16-year-old girl in 2013 will now be spending the rest of his life in the Jodhpur central jail. However, in his absence his daughter Bhartishree will take over the reins of Asaram's Rs 10,000 crore empire.
Who is Bhartishree?
Bhartishree was born to Asaram and Laxmi Devi in 1975, two years after the self-styled godman converted his hut, which was built in Gujarat's Motera, into an ashram in 1973.
As her brother Narayan Sai is also undergoing trial for the Surat rape case and is currently lodged in Lajpor jail in Gujarat, Bhartishree will now have to take care of Asaram's empire. Asaram's daughter was also arrested for her involvement in the Surat rape, but she was let out in bail along with her mother.
In fact, the 43-year-old woman, who is also known as Bharti Devi, has been running Asaram's trust since her father was arrested September 1, 2013, in the Jodhpur rape case.
Besides taking over the Sant Shri Aasaramji Trust, which is registered as a charitable body with headquarters in Ahmedabad, Bhartishree will also control Asaram's other ashrams in India.
Employees of the trust have said that Bhartishree travels extensively and participates in daily activities of all the ashrams, which are located in 30 states and Union Territories. The rape convict has established more than 400 ashrams in India and abroad.
According to Gujarat commissioner of police Rakesh Asthana, said that documents that were recovered during a raid in 2014 had revealed that the wealth of Asaram's ashrams in the form of bank accounts and other investments including shares, debentures and government bonds (excluding land) is valued at Rs 9,000-Rs 10,000 crore.
The self-styled godman, who used to once work as a tonga-puller, owns land at around 45 places in Gujarat and 33 places across Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.