A 50-year-old godman and his associate have been arrested in Hyderabad for allegedly cheating the public on the pretext of providing a cure for coronavirus disease, said the local police.
Cyberabad police arrested Md Ismail, who went by the name ‘corona baba’, and his associate, Md Salim, on Saturday, and charged them with cheating. They were also booked under relevant sections of the Epidemic Act.
Upon knowing about the ongoing practice in Hafizpet locality the police took suo-motu cognizance of the matter and arrested the duo. Two victims have come forward to give their statements, said inspector S Venkatesh of Miyapur Police Station.
According to the police, the accused are residents of Marthanda Nagar in Hafizpet and have been propagating cure for seasonal fevers through special prayers for the last four years. In the wake of the COVID pandemic, he has been offering the cure for COVID, too. His preachings were also available on local WhatsApp groups.
He was charging them anything between Rs 12,000 and Rs 30,000, while exploiting the fears in the minds of the people in the last few months, said the inspector.
At present, two victims have come forward and given their statements against the godman. The police suspect many more victims may approach them following the arrest of the duo. However, they also clarified that there are no previous cases against the accused.
Police have appealed to the public not to believe in such claims from anyone and approach a doctor if they have any symptoms of COVID-19 and avail necessary treatment.
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