Odisha police has arrested a self-styled godman and his two sons after another public protests over his alleged wrong-doings.
The police said that it arrested Surendranath Mishra and his sons from the controversial Trahi Achyut Ashram located just outside the state capital Bhubaneswar in the early hours of Monday.
Two guns have also been confiscated from the godman’s possession.
This arrest comes after the police arrested another godman, Baba Sarathi, following the protests over his alleged immoral activities in Hyderabad
Baba Sarathi had allegedly spent three days in a posh Hyderabad hotel with an ‘MBBS student,’ eating tandoori chicken and drinking whiskey, a local channel had reported earlier in August.
On Sunday night, the violent protesters barged into his ashram of Surednranath Mishra, setting vehicles on fire burning down houses and other assets in the premises.
A police officer said, “We are interrogating the trio from every possible angle, including financial irregularities, land encroachment, sheltering criminals and sexual harassment.”
Mishra’s arrest follows a complaint lodged by Odisha Samajika Nyaya Abhiyan president, Jayanta Kumar Bhoi, demanding his arrest with his two sons within 24 hours.
“If the government failed to act against the self-styled godman within the time stipulated in the complaint, hundreds of people will gherao the chief minister’s residence,” Bhoi was quoted by several local websites in Odisha
Bhoi said that the illegal activities carried out by Mishra, also known as Sura Baba, were 14 times that of Sarathi Baba of Barimula Ashram in Kendrapara. Except the 14 acres of land, which includes the ashram, the Baba has another 30 acres of farm land in Khordha district, a timber depot in Brahmeswar area, 14 trucks and many more buildings. He claimed that the illegal business is run by his two sons, who drive Jaguar cars.
He said the accused had taken illegal possession of many acres of land, a timber depot in Brahmeswar area, 14 trucks and many more buildings.
Meanwhile, state police deployed more personnel at the ashram to maintain law and order.
Commissioner of Police R.P. Sharma promised strict actions against anyone found guilty.
He said, “Acting on the prima facie evidence gathered against the Sura Baba, prompt, transparent and strict action will be taken against anyone found guilty.”