Police are on the look out of a self-styled fake godman who allegedly cheated a woman to a tune of Rs 18 lakh and later eloped with the wife of one of his followers.
A case was registered recently against the godman, identified as Dilip Kumar Jamunaprasad Tiwari alias Hariom Baba (42), a resident of Sakharkheda village in Maharashtra's Buldhana district, by Devla police based on the complaints of his followers.
According to complaints lodged against him, the godman allegedly met a woman, Kalpana Pagar (40), in September last year and claimed that he could heal her skin ailments, for which he started frequenting her house in Sinnar taluka of the district and in due course gathered information about her personal and financial background.
He convinced the woman to give him a large sum to set up his ashram there, following which the victim sold her land and gave him Rs 18 lakhs.
However, as per the complaint by the woman, the godman instead purchased a JCB machine from the money in his father's name. Following this, she filed a complaint against him recently of duping her to the tune of Rs 18 lakh.
In another complaint, a man, Mangesh Tanpure who said he was a follower of the godman, alleged that Hariom Baba eloped with his newly wedded wife.
He mentioned in his complaint that the baba had himself arranged their marriage recently, and post wedding, he was living with his wife at the baba's ashram at Kopargaon in Ahmednagar district, police said.
Police also said that the fake godman had allegedly lured several of his followers in Nashik by claiming to double their money and having the power to heal various diseases.
He had even appointed some agents to fetch vulnerable followers on commission basis, they said.
Police have charged him under relevant sections and have launched a search to nab him after he was neither found in his ashram nor at his home in Buldhana.
The police have also urged his other followers to come forward and lodge complaints if they were cheated or harassed by the fake godman.