Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's Dera Sacha Sauda has a new leader. As the 'godman' serves prison-time for rape, his 70-year-old mother Naseeb Kaur has emerged as the new guiding force.
It was a foregone conclusion, considering most Dera leaders are either absconding or in prison.
With Ram Rahim's son set to inherit everything, the Rs. 1,500cr-empire looks all set to remain with the family.
Ram Rahim was sentenced to jail last August for raping two devotees in the Dera's Sirsa headquarters in 2002.
Violent riots broke out in Panchkula immediately afterwards, which quickly spread to other states and left at least 30 people dead and scores injured.
Ram Rahim's adopted daughter Honeypreet and Dera spokesperson Aditya Insan topped the Haryana government's list of 43 most-wanted in the case.
Since then, the thousands of followers that used to gather at the Dera earlier have reduced in number, but still, Naseeb travels to the headquarters from their ancestral home at Gursar Modia village in Rajasthan's Ganganagar at least once a week, generally during 'Naam Charcha' on Sundays.
She's also seen at events organized by the Dera, but she returns to her hometown every time.
Last August, days after Ram Rahim's conviction, the Dera had announced his son Jasmeet Insan as heir.
This was a break from tradition: no previous Dera-chief had made their own descendant the heir.
Till he takes over, Naseeb, lovingly called 'Rajmata,' is likely to continue her role.
The Dera's property includes a multi-specialty hospital, a stadium and a fleet of luxury vehicles, among others.
Caught in a similar quandary is Asaram's trust; controlling 400 ashrams, 40 schools and a printing-press, its value is estimated at Rs. 5,000cr.
Initial reports said daughter Bhartishri will run them now, but she later said she broke ties with the trust "16-17 years ago."
However, sources claim she's been leading their activities since Asaram and son Narayan went to prison five years ago.
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