On Wednesday, Hindu Mahasabha chief Swami Chakrapani, who was recently in news for burning a car that purportedly belonged to underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, was provided Z-category security after four people were arrested for planning an attack on him.
Chakrapani, who won the car at an open auction in Mumbai on December 9, had publicly burnt the vehicle in Ghaziabad.
Here are other controversial ‘babas’ who were given the Z-category security, though later, it was withdrawn from some.
In 2011, the baba, who has a huge international fan following, held a two-day hunger strike and sit-in at a public park in Delhi; with thousands of supporters in tow.
The protest was broken up in a surprise midnight raid, which came after negotiations with Dr Manmohan Singh’s government failed to persuade him to end his fast.
As the police forced the demonstrators to disperse, the baba escaped the venue and was later found near the railway station, disguised as a woman, to the media’s amusement.
A government change later, not only to find himself bestowed upon by Z-category cover, even his yoga ashram and food park in Haridwar got one, which is significant, since only eight such private units have been guarded by paramilitary forces.
Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insaan
Popularly known as the ‘rockstar’ babay, Ram Rahim claims to have a devotee base of about five crore. A hit ‘musician’, he flooded the market last year with gems such as ‘Love Charzer’, ‘Chhora Babbar Sher Ka’, and became an instant social media hit.
Of course, he is as controversial as any other baba out there.
Singh Insan is believed to be in close association with the militant Gurjant Singh Rajasthani of the Khalistan Liberation Force. Ironically though, in 2008, he was provided the Z+ security cover after the said Khalistani force allegedly tried to eliminate him. Ram Rahim has also other criminal charges on him such as murder, and hurting religious feelings.
Namdhari sect head, Satguru Uday Singh
In April this year, Punjab upgraded the security cover for Namdhari sect head, Satguru Uday Singh to Z+, following the murder of the sect’s matriarch, Mata Chand Kaur in the same month.
Considering a ‘succession’ war and the threat to the incumbent Satguru, it was decided that he be protected by 40 specially-trained police personnel armed with submachine guns.
Chakrapani, who won a car belonging to underworld don Dawood Ibrahim at an open auction in Mumbai on December 9, had publicly burnt the vehicle in Ghaziabad.
Chakrapani had earlier written to the Union Home ministry in which he mentioned about receiving fresh threats from ‘D-Company’. Subsequently, four people were arrested for planning an attack on him.
Sankaracharya Nischalanand Saraswati
The Sankaracharya has had Z-grade security since 2008, after another seer, Swami Laxmanananda was murdered by Maoists. Nischalananda has been criticising Christian missionaries over religious conversion.
Prior to that, he had received postcards, allegedly from the Al Qaeda, warning him of dire consequences if he didn’t convert to Islam.
The Sikh community alleged him to be hurting their religious sentiments, and accused him of distorting Sikh teachings, called Banis, and making negative comments about Sikhism and the Sikh gurus.
Following many violent clashes, Ashutosh was provided Z+ security cover in 2009. He was in his 70s, when was declared clinically dead on January 29, 2014.
But the blind faith of his devotees kept him spiritually ‘alive’ in the DJJS premises, spread over 100 acres. Since then, his body has been kept in a freezer by the management to create Himalayan-like environment suitable for meditation.
According to various reports, his body’s security has been trimmed down to Z-category.
Born in Sindh in undivided India, Asaram Bapu has a tremendous following both in India and aboard.
Such was his power that ahead of the assembly elections that first delivered him to the Gujarat chief minister’s office in October 2001, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had kick-started his campaign by sharing Asaram’s stage and crowd.
He too, is no stranger to controversy.
Asaram was accused of sexually abusing a 16-year-old girl at his Jodhpur ashram even as her mother was waiting outside. The godman claimed he was innocent and regards the minor as his ‘daughter’.
He was subsequently arrested and now awaits his fate in a cell at the Central Jail at Jodhpur. His Z-category security was also taken away.