Shops selling Asaram merchandise may face tax scrutiny

AsaramThe ashram now wears a deserted look as the flow of Asaram's disciples visiting the place coming down to a trickle since his arrest. (IE Photo)

Local tax authorities are likely to undertake scrutiny of the account books of as many as 23 shops in the district selling the products manufactured by the Ahmedabad-based ashram of self-styled godman Asaram Bapu, an official said today.

"These shops merchandise the products manufactured in Ahmedabad-based ashram of Asaram and Yoga Vedant Samiti. We may scrutinise their books," a sales tax officer said without elaborating.

He also refused to come on record. According to sources, ownership of the five-acre-plot housing the ashram, located 9 kms away on Akola-Washim state highway, also appears dubious though no formal inquiry has been launched so far in this connection.

'Bapu ki Kutiya', as the place is called, is a plush bungalow where Asaram, currently in jail on charge of sexually assaulting a minor girl in Jodhpur ashram, had reportedly stayed on at least six occasions in last nine years.

Though it is said that Yoga Vedanta Samiti manages the ashram, none of its officials could be contacted despite repeated attempts. The ashram now wears a deserted look as the flow of Asaram's disciples visiting the place coming down to a trickle since his arrest.

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