New Delhi: While the search for the whereabouts of the self-styled godman, Bhole Baba, aka Narayan Saakar Hari, is ongoing, new details are cropping up in the matter. Shortly after revelations of sexual assault cases against him surfaced, officials announced on Wednesday that they had seized documents revealing a portion of his vast wealth, which includes a luxurious ashram in Mainpuri, Uttar Pradesh, and others at various locations, including Gwalior, where the search operations are underway. 

After the incident at the religious congregation on Tuesday, which left 123 people dead and 28 injured, there have been no signs of Baba yet. The police have stated that Bhole Baba is not present at his ashram in Mainpuri. The District’s DSP, Sunil Kumar, said, “There are 40–50 sevadars inside the ashram. They are saying that he (Bhole Baba) is not inside; neither was he here yesterday nor today.” 

The documents reveal that the ashram, spread over 21-bighas has numerous rooms, each equipped with amenities comparable to those found in a five-star hotel. As per reports, the ashram designates six rooms specifically for him and another six for committee members and volunteers within his ashram.

The Mainpuri ashram, valued at approximately 50 crores, resembles the White House in the United States with its white-painted exterior. Inside, the rooms are fully air-conditioned, supported by a 24-hour electric supply.

Saakar Hari has claimed that the aashrams were gifted to him; however, he has several high-priced properties across India, including Dausa (Rajasthan), Shajahanapur (Uttar Pradesh), and Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh), where the search operation is scheduled to happen.  

According to a report by Zee News TV, devotees of Baba claim that the dust from Saakar Hari’s feet possesses healing powers for diseases. One devotee insisted that the tragedy was destined, emphasising that the ‘godman’ bears no responsibility for the incident. 

The names of several organisers are mentioned in the FIR filed late Tuesday at the Sikandar Rau police station, as per the statement of a senior officer cited by PTI. However, the name of ‘godman’, Sural Pal, is not included in the FIR. 

On the cause of the stampede, reports say that after the volunteers and others in charge of security from Hari’s organisation began pushing people to manage the crowd, chaos ensued, prompting panic among attendees triggering the deadly stampede.  

Following the stampede, Baba issued a brief statement offering condolences to the victims’ families and stating his intention to pursue legal action against purported ‘anti-social elements’ believed to be responsible for the tragedy.  

The self-proclaimed Baba is originally from Etah and a former head constable in the Uttar Pradesh Police. He is also involved in multiple cases and has faced numerous allegations of sexual assault. These cases are registered in Agra, Etawah, Kasganj, Farrukhabad, and Rajasthan.