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Ex-army man held for cheating priests

The accused would ask priests to give him the money to hire tempo, so that he could bring in things donated by the army

A 50-year-old man was arrested from Punjabi Bagh area in west Delhi on Tuesday for impersonating a military personnel and cheating priests in churches.  According to police, the accused was identified as Madan Lal Gupta, who earlier worked as a cook in the Indian Army and drew a pension of Rs 12,000 per month. Gupta retired from the Army 15 years ago. He was caught red-handed from a Punjabi Bagh church while trying to cheat a priest.

Modus operandi
Police said in this particular case, Gupta introduced himself as a Havaldar of the Indian Army and claimed that his Brigadier was blessed with a girl child after 25 years of marriage. He then went on to claim that the Brigadier wanted to donate 165 blankets, Rs 70,000 cash and other items such as soaps to poor people through the church.

"He said he needed a tempo to bring in these items and requested the father to give Rs 3,000 for the purpose. Meanwhile, a staff member at the church, Father Mathew, recognised him as the person who had cheated another priest two years ago," said a senior police official.

"Reportedly, during his tenure in the Army, Gupta had visited many churches and noticed the benevolent attitude of priests. He exploited their sympathy by making all types of stories on many occasions earlier," said V Ranganathan, Additional Commissioner of Police. He further added, "His own family had shunned him after he developed intimate relations with a woman in Sangam Vihar. To provide for the extra expenditure, he took to cheating the priests."

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