Swami Anand Giri
Swami Anand GiriFacebook

Swami Anand Giri, a self-proclaimed godman and yoga guru from Uttar Pradesh, was arrested in Sydney, Australia, on May 5 for sexually assaulting two women followers.

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.

The crime

Anand met the first woman on New Year 2016. He visited the 29-year-old woman at her residence in Rooty Hill in Sydney and assaulted her in her bedroom. The second incident occurred two years later in 2018 when he visited the house of another woman in the same neighbourhood. He had assaulted her in the lounge of her room, SBS reports.

Both the women are of South Indian origin and he had gone to both their houses for a prayer meeting. 

ABAP confirms arrest

"Our people in Australia are in contact with authorities and a bail application has again been filed," Narendra Giri, the president of the Akhil Bhartiya Akhada Parishad was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.

Giri was on a six-week tour of Australia when he was arrested. He was taken into custody on Sunday when he was scheduled to leave for India on Monday. He had applied for bail the very same day but the Parramatta Bail Court rejected it.

He is to appear before the Mt Druitt Local Court on June 26 for his first hearing and will be in police custody till then.

Meet Swami Anand Giri

Swami Anand Giri 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." 

He is currently pursuing his doctoral degree in Yoga Tantra.

Anand is known to be a close associate of yoga expert and Patanjali CEO Baba Ramdev. The saffron-clad godman is famous for his relationships with many political figures. His Facebook account boasts photos of him with Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Union minister VK Singh and Vice President Venkaiah Naidu.