Mumbai: 'Yoga guru' cheats 700 with promise of grand contest in Kandivli

Updated: Oct 02, 2019, 06:48 IST | Diwakar Sharma

Collects lakhs from participants from across India for the event organised at Kandivli public park

Gyanendra Pandey
Gyanendra Pandey

A self-proclaimed yoga guru has been booked for cheating close to 700 people from across the country by inviting them to the city for a 'grand' yoga competition, which the participants alleged was a sham. Gyanendra Pandey and his aide Shyamali Chakraborty started advertising their national-level yoga event — 'Gyan Yog Seva Kendra' — under the banner of Swasth Bharat Abhiyan, on Facebook and WhatsApp groups. What seemed to have caught the public's attention were cash prize of up to Rs 1.2 lakh for a mere entry and accommodation fee of Rs 800 per head.

"Their ad on social media was so strong that people from across India, including Jharkhand, Assam, Bihar, West Bengal, Karnataka and Kerala, showed their interest for participation," an officer from Kandivli police station told mid-day. "They had said promised that 'winner certificates, trophies and cash prize will be distributed to 60 participants'," the officer said. The officer said, since the prize was lucrative, "several people registered and made the payment online."

However, the participants were in for a rude shock when they arrived at the venue on September 29. The organisers had neither made proper food and accommodation arrangement nor was the competition as grand as they had promised. The venue for the 'grand, national-level competition' was a public park in Kandivli West. Infuriated, the participants approached the Kandivli police station and filed and FIR.

The police arrested Pandey and Chakraborty under Sections 420 (cheating), 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC. They were released on bail on September 30. Sources said Pandey claims to be the 'disciple of yoga guru Baba Ramdev'. He told mid-day, "I had taken permission of BMC and city police to organise this grand programme. I am the victim of a political lobby against me."

Rs 1.2 lakh
Cash prize he announced for winners

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