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Police step up action against fake godmen

Self-proclaimed ‘babas’ or healers who have a penchant for advertising about their ‘healing powers’ may soon be at the receiving end of the police’s wrath. Mohamed Thaver reports.

mumbai Updated: May 18, 2011 00:57 IST
Mohamed Thaver

Self-proclaimed ‘babas’ or healers who have a penchant for advertising about their ‘healing powers’ may soon be at the receiving end of the police’s wrath. The social service branch has been cracking down on these healers who dupe people.

“We are catching people claiming to be healers or babas and duping people of money. Officers are taking leads from advertisements on local cable channels, classifieds in newspapers and tip-offs from locals, to get information about them,” said DCP Rajkumar Vhatkar, Mumbai police spokesperson.

In the past week alone, the Mumbai police have arrested two ‘babas’ who duped people.

The latest raid was conducted by the social service branch and the Kurla police on Monday, on the premises of one ‘Baba Khan’ near Arpana hospital in Kurla.

“We were tipped off by the locals about a man who claimed to be a healer and by promising people a bright future, duped them. We also saw his advertisements on the local cable channel that gave his address and contact number,” said sub-inspector S Ghute, Kurla police station.

“We raided his premises. However, Nafis Malik alias Baba Khan managed to flee the spot. We arrested three of his accomplices identified as Mohammad Asif Shaikh, 25, Amjad Naushad Ansari, 28, and Firoz Aziz Teli, 26. Salim, the owner of the house from where Malik functioned, has also been booked for cheating and criminal breach of trust along with the others,” said Ghute.

“The trio were presented before the local court that remanded them to police custody till May 20,” said Laxman Bhalerao, senior inspector, Kurla police station.

In a similar raid on Thursday,, the social service branch arrested a ‘Bengali Baba’ and two of his accomplices from Santacruz for duping people.

The accused were identified as Furkhan Ali Abdul Sattar Malik alias Baba Pasha Bengali, 26, and his accomplices Mohammad Raes Chand, Mohmmad Malik, 24,, and Shakeel Mohammad Ali Ansari, 32.