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Bhaiyyu Maharaj Shot Himself After Woman Disciple Blackmailed Him With Rape Complaint, Say Police

According to police, Palak was pressurising the 50-year-old spiritual leader, who was married twice, to marry her. Maharaj had tied the knot with Dr Ayushi Sharma in June 2017 after the death of his first wife and announced soon after that he would take sanyas.

Vivek Trivedi | News18

Updated:January 19, 2019, 5:23 PM IST
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Bhaiyyu Maharaj Shot Himself After Woman Disciple Blackmailed Him With Rape Complaint, Say Police
A combination image of late Bhaiyyu Maharaj and the woman who blackmailed him with rape complaint.

Indore: In a sensational disclosure on Saturday, Indore police said spiritual guru Bhaiyyu Maharaj had committed suicide last year because he was being blackmailed by a woman disciple with a rape complaint.

The police have arrested three people - Palak, who joined the ashram as a disciple and Maharaj’s right hand man Vinayak Dhule and his driver Sharad Deshmukh – for abetment to suicide. A local court has remanded them to 15 days in police custody.

According to police, Palak was pressurising the 50-year-old spiritual leader, who was married twice, to marry her. Maharaj had tied the knot with Dr Ayushi Sharma in June 2017 after the death of his first wife and announced soon after that he would take sanyas.

Indore’s DIG Hari Narayanchari Mishra said the police had audio and video clips which suggest that Palak was blackmailing the spiritual head in connivance with Vinayak and Sharad, threatening that he would meet the same fate as Dati Maharaj, who was booked for rape on the complaint of his female disciple on June 11, a day before Bhaiyyu Maharaj’s suicide.

The police claim to have seized several “obscene” chats with the woman from Maharaj’s mobile phones. Soon after Palak joined the ashram as a disciple, she had grown close to the spiritual leader, they said. The chat between Maharaj and the woman suggest about some planning and presumably it could be regarding marriage, said the DIG.

Not naming Dati Maharaj, he said it emerged during the course of the probe that Maharaj was tense after most of the news channels showed a religious head getting booked for rape.

However, the knotty case turned even murkier as the family and sevadars levelled allegations against each other after the suicide on June 12. The police in December had stumbled upon first vital link after three persons, including Maharaj’s former driver Kailash, were arrested after they tried to extort Rs 5 crore from advocate Nivesh Barjatya, who was associated with the spiritual head.

Kailash’s questioning revealed that Maharaj was blackmailed by the two sevadars and Palak.

Maharaj, who had celebrities including noted politicians among his followers, had shot himself inside his room in Indore on June 12 last year. “I am fed up,” his suicide note had read. The letter also mentioned that he wanted Vinayak to be the caretaker of his property.

Addressed as 'Rashtrasant', Uday Singh Deshmukh aka Bhaiyyu Maharaj, was a native of Shujalpur in MP. He was famous for his luxurious lifestyle marked by branded watches, posh cars and a plush residence. Besides his sprawling ashram, he ran various educational institutions and was involved in social endeavours in Maharashtra and MP.

(Inputs from Vikas Singh Chauhan, Indore)

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| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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