//Two fake holy men nabbed in Karnataka

Two fake holy men nabbed in Karnataka

Two fake holy men nabbed in Karnataka

Bangalore; Two fake holy men were arrested here Monday for robbing devotees of their valuables.

The city’s deputy commissioner of police (west) Kishore Chandra told reporters that the father-son duo, Maniknath (55) and Ramu (30) from Nanded in Maharashtra, were taken into custody from the city suburbs on a tip-off by one of their victims who was relieved of his purse and a wrist watch last week.

"The saffron-clad accused had adopted a novel method of robbing people, especially innocent devotees of Shirdi Sai Baba. Their modus operandi was to accost the victims in isolated places by posing as godmen from Shiridi.

"With a big photo of Sai Baba and other paraphernalia on a push-cart, they would entice the faithfuls to seek blessings of the Shirdi saint. On the pretext of applying sacred ash on the devotees’ forehead, the duo would throw some powder laced with chemicals on their face and render them unconscious.

"After taking away their belongings, both would vanish from the spot," Chandra said.

In laboratory tests, the so-called sacred ash was found to contain harmful substances that make victims giddy with burning eyes.

On a complaint by Teja Ram, police launched a search and trapped the accused.

On interrogation, the duo confessed that unemployment and financial distress drove them to don saffron robes and dupe gullible devotees of the Baba.