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In Pictures: Self-Styled Godmen and Their Controversies

India | News18 | December 3, 2019, 9:12 pm
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 Paramahamsa Nithyananda: Controversial
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Paramahamsa Nithyananda: Controversial "godman" Nithyananda may have fled India without a passport to save himself from a rape case registered against him in Karnataka. But he has founded a new nation of his own, naming it 'Kailaasa'. And it has its own "passport". Nithyananda has also launched a website of the new "nation", describing it as the greatest Hindu nation on earth.

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 Kalki Bhagavan: Self-proclaimed godman Kalki Bhagwan is in news after the Income Tax department raids on his multiple premises spread across the southern States. The raid leads to a big haul of over 500 crore undisclosed income. Tax raids were taken up after the department received tip-offs about a large number of cash donations being made that had been kept out of the account books and later used for other businesses, primarily in the real estate sector.
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Kalki Bhagavan: Self-proclaimed godman Kalki Bhagwan is in news after the Income Tax department raids on his multiple premises spread across the southern States. The raid leads to a big haul of over 500 crore undisclosed income. Tax raids were taken up after the department received tip-offs about a large number of cash donations being made that had been kept out of the account books and later used for other businesses, primarily in the real estate sector.

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 Rampal: Currently serving a life sentence for murder in the Hisar Central Jail, the self-proclaimed godman, who claims to be an incarnation of Kabir, was acquitted of murder on October 11, 2018, from charges that arose out of the murder of five women and an infant during the standoff before his arrest in 2014. (Image: AFP)
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Rampal: Currently serving a life sentence for murder in the Hisar Central Jail, the self-proclaimed godman, who claims to be an incarnation of Kabir, was acquitted of murder on October 11, 2018, from charges that arose out of the murder of five women and an infant during the standoff before his arrest in 2014. (Image: AFP)

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 Radhe Maa: The head of Shri Radhe Guru Maa Charitable Trust in the Borivali suburb of Mumbai, she landed in trouble when a woman accused her of instigating her husband's family to torture her mentally and physically. She was also booked for obscenity and cheating when videos of her being carried during satsangs emerged in 2015.
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Radhe Maa: The head of Shri Radhe Guru Maa Charitable Trust in the Borivali suburb of Mumbai, she landed in trouble when a woman accused her of instigating her husband's family to torture her mentally and physically. She was also booked for obscenity and cheating when videos of her being carried during satsangs emerged in 2015.

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 Ichchadhari Sant Swami Bhimanand: This self-proclaimed godman was running a flourishing flesh trade racket. The spiritual leader, whose real name is Shiv Murat Dwivedi was arrested twice for his involvement in a sex racket in Delhi and later in Mumbai.
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Ichchadhari Sant Swami Bhimanand: This self-proclaimed godman was running a flourishing flesh trade racket. The spiritual leader, whose real name is Shiv Murat Dwivedi was arrested twice for his involvement in a sex racket in Delhi and later in Mumbai.

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 Nirmal Baba: A controversial Indian godman who is known for his public discourses and following in North India, he was mentioned in a list of fake sadhus released by Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad, the apex organisation of Hindu Sants (saints) and Sadhus (ascetics) in India.
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Nirmal Baba: A controversial Indian godman who is known for his public discourses and following in North India, he was mentioned in a list of fake sadhus released by Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad, the apex organisation of Hindu Sants (saints) and Sadhus (ascetics) in India.

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 Asaram: A self-proclaimed cult leader, he first came into the limelight in the early 1970s and gradually went on to establish over 400 ashrams in India and abroad. In April 2018, he was found guilty of rape of a minor girl and is currently serving life imprisonment for the sexual assault in Jodhpur. (Image: AFP)
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Asaram: A self-proclaimed cult leader, he first came into the limelight in the early 1970s and gradually went on to establish over 400 ashrams in India and abroad. In April 2018, he was found guilty of rape of a minor girl and is currently serving life imprisonment for the sexual assault in Jodhpur. (Image: AFP)

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 Swami Sadachari Sai Baba Omji: Known more for his stint on Salman Khan's Bigg Boss, the self-styled godman is known for his communal comments and according to Delhi Police was involved in seven cases under the Arms act and TADA. His controversies include slapping a woman on Television among other misadventures.
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Swami Sadachari Sai Baba Omji: Known more for his stint on Salman Khan's Bigg Boss, the self-styled godman is known for his communal comments and according to Delhi Police was involved in seven cases under the Arms act and TADA. His controversies include slapping a woman on Television among other misadventures.

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 Swami Premananda: Originally from Sri Lanka, the now-deceased guru was convicted of multiple counts of rape and murder in 1997. He moved to India with his followers in 1984 to escape the Sri Lankan Civil War, bringing with him undocumented Sri Lankan orphans who had been in his care. The case of murder and rape against him first came to light in 1994; one of the girls living in the ashram, Arul Jyothi, escaped and reported that she had been raped and was pregnant.
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Swami Premananda: Originally from Sri Lanka, the now-deceased guru was convicted of multiple counts of rape and murder in 1997. He moved to India with his followers in 1984 to escape the Sri Lankan Civil War, bringing with him undocumented Sri Lankan orphans who had been in his care. The case of murder and rape against him first came to light in 1994; one of the girls living in the ashram, Arul Jyothi, escaped and reported that she had been raped and was pregnant.

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 Swami Amrita Chaitanya: The self-styled godman, also known as Santosh Madhavan was accused in several cases of cheating and sentenced to 16 years in prison in 2009 for raping two minor girls as well as producing pornographic films of underage girls.
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Swami Amrita Chaitanya: The self-styled godman, also known as Santosh Madhavan was accused in several cases of cheating and sentenced to 16 years in prison in 2009 for raping two minor girls as well as producing pornographic films of underage girls.

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 Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh: The head of Dera Sacha Sauda, he is a convicted rapist and murderer of journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2017. His murder conviction for Chhatrapati came in January 2019 and he is facing further prosecution for other murders and the ordering of forced castrations.
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Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh: The head of Dera Sacha Sauda, he is a convicted rapist and murderer of journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2017. His murder conviction for Chhatrapati came in January 2019 and he is facing further prosecution for other murders and the ordering of forced castrations.

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