Photos: 'Godmen' who courted controversy
A 21-year-old law student from Chhattisgarh's Bilaspur district was allegedly raped by a self-styled godman based in Rajasthan, police said. "Based on the woman's complaint, a case was lodged against 70-year-old Swami Kaushlendra Prapannachari Falahari Maharaj on September 11, said Bilaspur Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Archana Jha. The incident had allegedly taken place at Madhusudan ashram of the godman in Alwar, Rajasthan, on August 7 this year, she said
Asaram Bapu, the controversial spiritual leader is allegedly accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl at his ashram in Rajasthan. Earlier in 2008, two young boys went missing from his gurukul under mysterious circumstances. Their mutilated bodies were later found from the banks of Sabarmati River near the ashram. According to news reports, the 72-year-old swami and his son were also involved in a Rs 700 crore land grab case in Madhya Pradesh.
Rape convict Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was on Monday sentenced to 20 years jail for the rape and criminal intimidation of two female disciples. The sect chief has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in each of the two cases of rape. Both sentences will run consecutively. Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special court judge Jagdeep Singh announced the sentences. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 30 lakh on the sect chief. The rape victims will get Rs 14 lakh each as compensation from this amount.
Sri Jayendra Saraswathi, the 69th Shankaracharya of Kancheepuram Mutt was accused of masterminding assault on former auditor Radhakrishnan, who threatened to expose the alleged murky dealings in the Mutt. Saraswathi was also involved in allegedly ordering the murder of Sankararaman, a temple manager.
Shiv Murti Dwivedi alias Ichchadhari Sant Swami Bhimanand Ji Maharaj Chitrakoot Wale, a self-styled godman, was arrested by Delhi police for allegedly operating a high-profile sex racket in the Capital, which involved former air-hostesses and students. He claimed to be a disciple of Sai Baba.
Chandraswami, alias Nemi Chand Jain claimed to be an astrologer and a faith healer, had been repeatedly accused of financial irregularities. The Supreme Court had asked him to pay around Rs 9 crore as penalty imposed by the Enforcement Directorate in the several FERA violation cases against him. The CBI had lodged a case for his involvement in the conspiracy to assassinate former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1996.
Swami Nithyananda, a seer with a big following in several states and abroad, landed in a controversy after TV channels aired a video footage allegedly showing him in an objectionable position with a South Indian actress. After remaining elusive, he was later arrested from Himachal Pradesh.
Osho, also known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, was an Indian mystic, guru and spiritual teacher who has an international following. In 1981, Rajneesh relocated to the Oregon, USA where his commune became embroiled in conflicts with locals primarily over land use. The large number of Rolls-Royce cars purchased for Rajneesh's use also attracted criticism. According to news reports, the commune collapsed in 1985 when Rajneesh revealed that the commune leadership had allegedly committed a number of serious crimes, including a bio-terror attack on the citizens of The Dalles.
Baba Ramdev, a spiritual leader known for his contributions in yoga, ayurved and politics, but he has also faced controversies relating to issues ranging from tax evasion, publicising his views on homosexuality and his claims of curing cancer.
Swami Sadachari, once the spiritual adviser of several top politicians, including former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, was jailed for allegedly running a brothel.
Self-styled Godman, Rampal, 67, has had a number of cases registered against him three years back. The cases ranged from 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of his public function), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty) to 353 (assault or use of criminal force to deter a public servant from discharging his duty. The godman kept dodging arrest and his followers opened fire at security forces in a village in Rohtak, killing one person and injuring several others. The revolt his arrest in sighted was so horrendous that a number of people perished including a baby. A Haryana court on Tuesday acquitted the self-styled 'god man' Rampal from charges of rioting and obstructing a government officer. He is still in jail and is likely to appear in court for hearings related to three more cases filed against him