The Income Tax (IT) department has seized Rs 33 crore from an ashram of the self-styled godman 'Kalki Bhagwan' in Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh while conducting raids on his properties.
Out of the seized amount, Rs 9 crore is in foreign currency. The IT sleuths are conducting raids in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu simultaneously. Raids were also conducted at the house and offices of Kalki's son Krishna, in Hyderabad.
The raids are being conducted after a tip-off from the Intelligence Bureau that Krishna is suspected to have made huge investments in several ventures of his associates including real estate with the use of illegal finance.
The 70-year-old Kalki Bhagwan, whose original name is Vijay Kumar Naidu, started his career in 1971 as a clerk at Life Insurance of India and then joined J Krishnamurthy Foundation during the '80s. But he was expelled from the foundation and later set up his own trust.
He had gone into hiding following a business failure in 1989 and later emerged as Lord Vishnu's tenth avatar 'Kalki' in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. He also claimed that his wife was the incarnation of the lord's consort. He got name and fame after many top brass politicians, industrialists and celebrities started coming to his ashram.
During the late '90s, the self-proclaimed spiritual leader set up a campus in Chennai called Somamangalam, and also started 'Oneness University' in Chennai's Varadaiahpalem.