Sunil Kulkarni, the “bogus” doctor arrested by the Mumbai Police on Thursday for allegedly luring young girls and boys into his group ‘Shifu Sunkriti’, promising to help them get a break in Bollywood and modelling had planned to launch a finishing school in Mumbai.
The crime branch, which is investigating the case, also said that the group could not be called a cult as it comprises just four youngsters in Mumbai and two in Delhi.
“Maybe if he had operated for a few years, we could have termed it a cult,” said a senior police official.
Investigations so far have found that Kulkarni moved to Delhi after acquiring bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology in Nagpur.
In Delhi, the police said, he claimed to have conducted corporate training courses at several leading private institutions.
At the age of 50, however, soon after being separated from his wife and four children, he allegedly lured a minor girl promising to enrol her in a modelling agency in Mumbai. The girl, who had been living with Kulkarni, later accused him of rape.
After an FIR was filed at Delhi’s Vasant Vihar police station, Kulkarni received bail when the girl’s statement before a magistrate bore discrepancies with her original complaint.
The crime branch believes that Kulkarni then moved to Mumbai, along with another girl from Delhi, who he allegedly similarly lured.
“We suspect that in Mumbai, he planned to start an institute which would groom young girls and boys with the aim of launching them into modelling and in the film industry,” said an officer.
The police suspect that Kulkarni had planned to open an organisation named ‘MAAD Finishing School International’ which he has mentioned in his Twitter feed as a “Programme for Miss India…”
Kulkarni, the police said, has been in Mumbai for less than a year and claimed to be a visiting faculty at several private colleges.
“We are verifying those claims, but it appears that he had planned to do the same thing here that he did in Delhi,” said the officer.
The two girls in Malad, whose parents’ petition in the Bombay High Court led to Kulkarni’s arrest, had been working as models, the police said.
However, their pictures did not figure in the stash of nude and semi-nude images that the police claim to have found on Kulkarni’s cell phone, pen drive and in several CDs seized from his Bandra apartment.
“The pictures are of the two girls from Delhi,” said the officer. The two boys, whose parents have also filed a petition in the High Court, were allegedly recruited to write film scripts, the police said.
“However, unlike the girls, they did not leave their parents’ homes,” said the officer. According to the police, one of the boys studied in college with one of the Malad girls and later introduced the other boy to Kulkarni.
The police are also investigating Kulkarni’s sources of income. “After he separated from his wife, he was required to pay Rs 40,000 a month as alimony. But he has not been paying the amount for several months,” said the officer.
With Kulkarni remanded to police custody for a week, the police hope to understand what made the middle aged man turn to luring youngsters abruptly at the age of 50.
“He has said that he has been doing this for the past four years. So far we have found no link between his lecturing work and influencing the young girls and boys,” said another officer.