Police in Madhya Pradesh have arrested a 25-year-old woman and two others in connection with the suicide of ‘godman’ Bhaiyyu Maharaj in the state. All three arrested were closely linked to the self-proclaimed godman, who ended his life last year.
The arrested individuals are Palak Puranik, 25-year-old former personal secretary of Maharaj and two other individuals (identified as Vinayak Dudhade and Sharad Deshmukh), who worked as the ‘godman’s’ personal aides. The woman is being accused pushing Maharaj to end his life by blackmailing him to marry her. According to the police, the woman was trying to control the ‘godman’ by administering him with high doses of medicines.
Deputy Inspector General of Police, Indore, Harinarayan Chari Mishra revealed that cops investigating Maharaj’s death had stumbled upon sensational mobile chats and other digital evidence that led to the arrests of Palak, Vinayak and Deshmukh.
Mishra said, “We have records of a very objectionable social media chat between Maharaj and the woman, as well as other digital evidences.” According to a report by news agency PTI, Mishra added that Palak had even threatened Bhaiyyu Maharaj that if they didn’t marry on June 16 last year, she would lodge a police complaint and defame him. He had committed suicide on 12 June.
“We were not successful in the initial investigation based on evidence and the family’s statements but on further investigations and on different statements provided by the family members we were able to crack the case,” Mishra was quoted by news agency ANI.
Mishra told reporters that the woman was administering him high doses of medicines, which was affecting his mental health.
Maharaj’s suicide note had said, “Somebody should be there to handle the duties of my family. I am leaving, so much stressed out. Fed up.”
Maharaj, who had recently got married before he committed suicide, was not new to controversies. In May 2017, the self-styled guru was caught in controversy after an actor, Mallika Rajput, sensationally accused him of cheating on her. Rajput, who had recently quit BJP saying that the party shielded rapists, had alleged, “Bhaiyyu Maharaj is a trickster. I have worked hard and wrote a book on him. He has its 950 copies with him for two and a half years.
“He had kept me in an illusion and now calls me from different numbers. Do not trust him. I will send him a court notice for not returning my book. I have his letter too. He is a puppet of lies and nothing else.”