A self-styled godman in Hyderabad was arrested for allegedly raping a 19-year-old girl under the pretext of warding off evil. The incident took place in Borabanda area of Hyderabad where the girl and the godman used to live.
The accused, identified as Azam, first came in contact with the girl's family and began to get familiar with them. When a certain level of comfort was established, he began visiting them in their house, reports IANS.
After visiting the girl's house, Azam said that there were evil spirits and they needed to be warded off. He asked the family to visit a Dargah in Bidar district of Karnataka. Azam accompanied the family to the Dargah where he lured the girl away and raped her.
"After their return from the trip, Azam again visited the house of the victim and asked her parents to stay outside while he recited some hymn to scare off the evils. On finding the girl alone, the accused once again raped her," Thirupatanna, the Panjagutta Additional Commissioner of Police was quoted as saying.
The police have filed a case under Section 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code while the girl has been sent to the Bharosa centre for medical treatment and counselling.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time that a godman has been caught for taking advantage of devotees and sexually assaulting them. In a similar case, an Indian godman was arrested by the Sydney Police in May for sexually assaulting two women followers in Australia.
Swami Anand Giri, the 38-year-old godman, was arrested from the Oxley park suburbs. According to the complaint filed against him, Giri had assaulted two of his women followers on separate occasions when he went to their houses for prayer meetings.
He hails from Prayagraj, previously known as Allahabad, in Uttar Pradesh. Anand described himself as a "spiritual leader committed to serving society and inspiring people through his work and wisdom."