Hyderabad: The 'kissing baba', a fake godman who was hugging and kissing women devotees to treat their illness and solve other problems, has been arrested in Andhra Pradesh, police said on Friday.
He was arrested on Thursday in Proddatur town of Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh.
Police produced him before a court, which sent him to judicial custody for two weeks. The court also referred him to a mental hospital as he appears to be seemingly mentally unstable.
Police said they also arrested Subba Reddy who was popularizing the fake saint among the people in the district. He used to tell people that the baba could remove their affliction and solve financial and domestic problems.
The bogus godman was operating for last two months from a room behind Ayyappa temple in the town. Many issueless couples were also approaching him.
Reddy would allegedly present the other man as a spiritual leader and miracle-healer for earning easy money.
Subba Reddy, the accused, got a 30-year-old man dressed up as 'a baba' in saffron robes and installed him near a religious place in Yerraguntla.
He would then told the people that the baba could cure people of serious ailments and exorcise evil spirits, said police sub-inspector Sanjiv Reddy.
"Subba Reddy collected money from the poor people who visited this baba. However, around four-five days ago this baba started hugging and kissing women," the police officer said.
Police swung into action after some television channels beamed shocking visuals of the man kissing and hugging women devotees. He used to give only a lemon to men but misbehave with women.
Both were produced before a magistrate, who sent Reddy in judicial custody while asking the police to refer the other man to a psychiatrist for examination. The officer said that police were awaiting the psychiatrist's report.
A case of cheating, molestation and 'inducing person to believe that he will be rendered an object of the divine displeasure' (section 508) has been filed under the Indian Penal Code.
"This so-called baba seems to be a semi-lunatic person," Kadapa DSP Ashok Kumar said.
Police have appealed to people not fall into the trap of such fake godmen.