A 63-year-old woman has filed a complaint against godman Prashant Upadhyay for allegedly criminally intimidating her while she attempted to find her son working at the godman’s ashram, Bagala Mukhi Brahmashta Vidyamandir in Warasiya area of Vadodara.
According to the complaint filed by Minakshi Shah, she was threatened by Upadhyay along with two of his disciples, Kiran Gurumukhbhai and Komal Gurumukhbhai, after she had initiated a search for her son who has been missing since 2017. She has spoken to local media and alleged that Upadhyay was behind the disappearance of her son.
A staunch follower of Upadhyay since 2006, Kalpesh Shah (41) had left home and started living at the godman’s ashram after a fallout with his elder brother. He had severed all ties with his family but continued to frequently meet his mother at the ashram. As per the complaint, Kalpesh informed his mother, in 2017, that he had found a job in Delhi and would return after nine months. However, he never contacted his family or returned home since.
Minakshi had also lodged a missing person’s report but the police is yet to trace him. When Minakshi approached Upadhyay to inquire about her son’s whereabouts, the godman refused to acknowledge that he knew him.
After a complaint was registered against Upadhyay for duping a businessman, Minakshi was advised by family members to speak out against him, following which the accused allegedly reached her house and threatened to kill her. The godman and his two disciples were booked under IPC sections 506 (2) (Criminal intimidation) and 114 (Abettor present).
On February 13, the Vadodara police had booked Upadhyay for allegedly duping a debt-ridden businessman of Rs 21.80 lakh under the pretext of reviving his business. Four more persons also recorded their statements about how they were duped by the absconding godman.
“The main accused is still on the run and the two disciples have managed to escape as well. Our teams are looking for them,” said Investigating Officer SS Anand.
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