The Gujarat Police on Friday arrested a Sadhvi along with three accomplices in a cheating case of Rs 5.2 crore and also recovered from her Rs 1.29 crore in cash, besides gold bars and bottles of Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL).
Sadhvi Jayshree Giri and her three accomplices were arrested from Palanpur in north Gujarat’s Banaskantha district.
The arrest followed a police complaint by a local jeweller Pritesh Shah that he had in November given the Sadhvi and her associates gold ornaments worth Rs 5.2 crore on loan. He decided to approach the police after they did not pay back despite repeated requests.
Police sources said besides that, the Sadhvi had also taken money from some local jewellers with a promise to deliver them gold at cheaper rates.
The police raided the residential premises of the Sadhvi on Thursday. “The search operation at her place of residence led to recovery of 24 gold biscuits of 100 grams each (worth Rs 80 lakh) and Rs 1.29 crore in new Rs 2,000 denomination notes (6,300 in numbers) in cash,” Banaskantha deputy superintendent of police Niraj Badgujar told reporters.
“We have registered complaints against three persons and arrested the kingpin Sadhvi Jayshree Giri,” he said. The police also recovered about 22 bottles of liquor from her residence.
Head of Mukteshwar Mahadev Mathh, Sadhvi runs a temple in Banaskantha. A video of her showering new Rs 2,000 currency notes on folk singers went viral in December last year.
The Sadhvi has denied that any cash was recovered from her. “No cash has been found from me, but later from a vehicle of one of my followers who had come to visit me. I also don’t know from where the police have found liquor bottles. I got to know of all this only later, Jayshree told reporters.
After her arrest, mother of one of the accomplices Chirag Rawal, blamed the sadhvi: “My son is not traceable for last 20-22 days. Jayashree Giri has been threatening us and now we cannot find him,” Indiraben, Chirag’s mother said.
Repors on local media on Friday linked the sadhvi to several serious crimes in the past, including murder and carrying arms.