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Kathak teacher who passed himself off as PM Modi’s ‘spiritual guru’ arrested

Pulkit Mishra, who referred to himself as Pulkit Maharaj, would allegedly also sometimes pass himself off as the “spiritual guru” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

delhi Updated: Sep 29, 2018 09:53 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Narendra Modi,PM Modi spiritual guru,Kathak teacher
Pulkit Mishra, alias Pulkit Maharaj (in yellow shirt), would allegedly pass himself off as the ‘spiritual guru’ of Narendra Modi.(Picture courtesy: Sourced)

A 33-year-old Kathak teacher has been arrested for allegedly impersonating an official of the Union culture ministry for seeking undue favours during his visits to different parts of the country, Delhi Police said on Friday.

Pulkit Mishra, who referred to himself as Pulkit Maharaj, would allegedly also sometimes pass himself off as the “spiritual guru” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, Mishra has no relation to either the prime minister or the culture ministry, the police said, adding that he only operates a Kathak school from Shalimar Garden in Ghaziabad.

According to Joy Tirkey, deputy commissioner of police (crime branch), Mishra’s alleged fraud was discovered by officials of Sitapur district in Uttar Pradesh. “Mishra, his sister and his three followers had visited Sitapur on April 1 on a personal tour. They were to visit a few temples in the district. But before their visit, Mishra allegedly sent a fax to the district magistrate seeking a personal security officer and accommodation in the government quarters there,” he said.

According to Sitapur DM Sheetal Verma, the fax had been received in the name of Mishra’s sister a day before their visit. “The fax allegedly introduced Mishra as the secretary of “sanskriti mantralaya”, but there is no such ministry. Moreover, Mishra’s details did not contain his batch number or other specific details. The fax was also sent from non-governmental phone number,” Verma said.

These factors “aroused suspicion”, but the district administration went ahead with providing security and accommodation to Mishra and his people, said the DM. “Mishra had also claimed to be the spiritual guru of the prime minister. It turned out that he had earlier sought favours in two other districts as well,” the DM said.

Mishra stayed in Sitapur for a day. After he left, officials conducted a background check to realise they had been tricked. They subsequently alerted the Centre after which an FIR was registered by the Delhi Police in August. A probe revealed Mishra’s real identity and location and he was apprehended near his Kathak school in Shalimar Garden on Thursday, said DCP Tirkey.

Mishra would allegedly either pose as the secretary or the director of the Union ministry of culture while seeking favours, Tirkey said. “We have him in custody for five days and will know about his modus operandi and other similar crimes in at least two other districts,” said the DCP.

The police are undecided whether to arrest his sister and other devotees who allegedly accompanied him on those trips.

First Published: Sep 29, 2018 08:37 IST