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Monday, November 30, 2020

Gujarat: Self-styled guru booked for ‘raping’ minor repeatedly over years

This is the second rape case against Self-styled guru Prashant Upadhyay Upadhyay, who is in judicial custody after being arrested in a cheating case earlier this year.

By: Express News Service | Vadodara | Updated: November 2, 2020 12:52:26 pm
SP leader arrested, UP SP leader arrested, Nadeem Ahmad Farooqui, Nadeem Ahmad Farooqui arrested, India news, Indian ExpressThe woman has been provided police protection.

Self-styled spiritual guru Prashant Upadhyay, of Bagla Mukhi Brahmastra Vidyamandir in Warasiya area of Vadodara, has been accused of repeatedly raping a minor between 2013 and 2017, police said. This is the second rape case against Upadhyay, who is in judicial custody after being arrested in a cheating case earlier this year.

In a complaint filed at Gotri police station Saturday, the complainant, who was a minor at the time of the alleged crime, claimed the accused had raped her on 12 occasions between 2013 and 2017. The complainant said her family used to attend sermons at Upadhyay’s spiritual centre, and had also encouraged her to “offer services” during vacations.

In 2015, when she was 16 years old, three women disciples of Upadhyay took her to his room, the complainant said. There Upadhyay gave her a tablet, which he said was a mouth freshner, that rendered her unconscious. He then raped her and later threatened to release her nude pictures on the social media, the complainant said.

Upadhyay was earlier arrested on charges of cheating and threatening a woman. He is also facing another alleged rape case, also registered at Gotri police station.

In the latest case, Upadhyay has been booked under various sections of the IPC for rape and criminal intimidation as well as Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act as the victim was a minor when the alleged crime was committed.

In February, a businessman, Devraj Pandaya, was the first to allege that Upadhyay duped him of Rs 21.80 lakh on the pretext of reviving his business through various rituals and prayers. Four other persons also came forward alleging that Upadhyay had duped them. A week later, a woman too registered a complaint against Upadhyay and two of his aides for threatening her when she had held the “guru” responsible after her son went missing for more than two years. Upadhyay was arrested on February 24.

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