The self-styled godman, who also has an ashram in Bilaspur, allegedly threatened the woman to not disclose the incident to anyone, citing his influence.
A 58-year-old self-styled godman in Rajasthan’s Alwar who allegedly raped a 21-year-old law student after promising her to make her a judge, is the latest in a series of scandals involving dubious Godmen, who has today been arrested reports NDTV. Godmen who run large businesses and operations have been found to be close not just to the politically powerful but even those holding high constitutional positions, it is alleged.
Rajasthan Police, compelled to arrest the Baba after the complaint, said the man – Alwar-based Kaushlendra Falahari Maharaj who commands a strong following across India – allegedly raped the woman devotee on August 7 when she went to his ashram to offer her first stipend as a token of respect. The woman, a resident of Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh, lodged an FIR and state police took up the case on September 11.
A case was then lodged against 70-year-old Swami Kaushlendra Prapannachari Falahari Maharaj with the women police station here on September 11, said Bilaspur Additional Superintendent of Police Archana Jha, based on the complaint. The incident had allegedly taken place at Madhusudan ashram of the godman in Alwar, Rajasthan, on August 7 this year, she said.
“The family members of the victim have been devotees of the Maharaj for the past two decades. Recently, the woman, who is a law student, joined an internship at a company through the godman’s recommendation…. she came to Alwar to give the Maharaj Rs. 3,000 that she got as a stipend,” said Shishram Meena, station house officer, Aravali Vihar police station, Alwar, quoted by both The Hindustan Times and The Tribune.
Police said he allegedly raped her during this stay at the ashram in Alwar. The allegations have come roughly a month after Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was convicted for raping two women devotees 15 years ago. police said Singh’s conviction motivated the woman to make the complaint.
According to the criminal complaint, the parents of the woman, who is a student of law at Jaipur, are followers of Falahari Maharaj and have been for the past several years, the police officer said. It was on the baba’s recommendation, she did an internship under a senior lawyer in New Delhi for which she received a stipend of Rs 3,000. Her parents asked her to donate the stipend amount to the baba’s ashram in Alwar, the ASP said.
Following her parents’ advice, she went to the ashram on Raksha Bandhan last month. Citing occurrence of ‘grahan’ (eclipse) that day, the self-proclaimed religious guru advised her to stay in the ashram which she agreed to, Jha said. During the night, the baba called the woman in his room and allegedly sexually assaulted her, the ASP said, quoting from the complaint.
The baba asked her not to tell anyone about the incident and threatened to harm her if she did so, she said. When the survivor came home here this month, she narrated the ordeal to her parents following which a rape complaint was lodged with the women cell, Jha added.
A case was registered against the accused under IPC Sections 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation), the police officer said.
The survivor’s statement was recorded before a magistrate here and the case diary sent to the Alwar Police for further action, she added.
“She was raped by the baba on the pretext of making her a judge. The girl came back to Bilaspur and narrated the whole incident to family members,” said additional superintendent of police, Bilaspur, Archana Jha. Rajasthan police added that the self-styled godman, who also has an ashram in Bilaspur, allegedly threatened the woman to not disclose the incident to anyone, citing his influence.
“The woman has said in the complaint that following the conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim, she got courage and decided to report the matter to the police,” added Meena.
The accused was admitted to a private hospital on Wednesday. “Alwar police have taken up the investigation and we will also be speaking with the victim to know more about the case. As of now, we haven’t been able to question the godman as he is admitted in a hospital,” said Meena.