A self-styled ‘tantrik’ has been arrested for allegedly duping a woman from the district on the pretext of exorcising evil spirits.
The police also recovered Rs 5.90 lakh from the arrested person identified as Mahendra Sharma. He hails from Delhi.
Police said Sharma had duped the woman of Rs 10 lakh and has cases in Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh.
Superintendent of Police, Gonda, Santosh Mishra, said that Sharma operated a well-oiled racket. The accused used to circulate advertisements in local Hindi papers projecting himself as the godman who can eradicate all the problems, including evil spirits.
The officer said that an FIR was lodged by the woman from Gonda.
She alleged that after going through his advertisement in a newspaper, she called Sharma to her house on January 19.
“Sharma performed some ‘yagyas’ and chanted some ‘shlokas’ to appear genuine. Later, the accused asked for all the cash and jewellery which was available in the house. On his insistence, I gave him Rs 7.5 lakh and jewellery worth another Rs 3 lakh,” the woman told police.
“He also made me believe that until ‘maya’ which is cash and jewellery, is there in the home the evil won’t go,” the victim alleged in her FIR.
She also alleged that Sharma promised to return the cash and jewellery in 24 hours after his ‘mantras’ had cast its spell.
However, when the victim went to meet Sharma at his shop after around 24 hours, it was found to be closed and the phone number which he had shared was also switched off.
Police said that Sharma had duped many others in different parts of the country and used to frequently change his identity and also phone number.