On Saturday, at least 14 people were killed in a stampede during Baba Jai Gurudev’s sabha in Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. In June, a breakaway sect of his followers were involved in a riot in Mathura which killed 24 people.
The violence in Mathura allegedly linked to the dispute between supporters of a so-called spiritual guru Jai Gurudev whose empire is estimated to be worth over Rs 12,000 crore. Jai Gurudev’s massive and opulent ashrams are situated on the Mathura-Delhi highway and in Etawah in Uttar Pradesh.
His empire allegedly includes land worth Rs 4000 crore, a massive fleet of cars including several Mercedes and Plymouths worth over Rs 150 crore, and more than Rs 100 crore in banks deposits.
Sources say the daily offerings made by his supporters at the ashrams are around Rs 10-12 lakh. Gurudev’s original name was Tulsidas Maharaj and he reportedly died in 2012.
Over two years ago, Gurudev’s supporters occupied hundreds of acres of land of Jawahar Bagh in Mathura on the pretext of a dharna (protest).
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