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Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019

Mumbai ‘sex and drugs’ cult leader Sunil Kulkarni remanded in police custody till May 3

Shifu Sunkriti cult leader Sunil Kulkarni is facing charges of trafficking and cheating

mumbai Updated: May 01, 2017 09:08 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Kulkarni has not appointed a lawyer and is choosing to argue the case himself.
Kulkarni has not appointed a lawyer and is choosing to argue the case himself.(HT File Photo)

A magistrate court remanded Sunil Kulkarni, alleged leader of the Shifu Sunkriti cult in police custody till May 3. He was charged with cheating and trafficking after the Bombay high court directed the police to register an FIR against him for running an alleged sex and drugs racket.

Police officials asked the court for more time to question Kulkarni.

They had told the court that Kulkarni sexually exploited his followers. Public prosecutor RY Suryavanshi said Kulkarni would prescribe sedatives to his followers, who were mostly between 18 and 25 years old, on the pretext of treating them. “Once they were under the influence of drugs, he would turn them against their parents and then coerce them into sexual activities,” Suryavanshi said.

The crime branch said two sisters from Malad had left their home after being influenced by Kulkarni. The police said the elder sister, a law graduate, met Kulkarni when he visited her college as a faculty member. She then introduced her younger sister, an architecture student, to him.

Suryavanshi said Kulkarni would show his victims obscene pictures and literature.

What we know about the case
  • The cult operated from a Facebook page. Joining it was as easy as leaving your number on the forum, said the parents of two women who are members of Shifu Sunkriti. Kulkarni would call those who had left their numbers and brief them about his organisation
  • The cult’s Facebook page contains provocative and sexually explicit messages.
  • Public prosecutor RY Suryavanshi said several of the youth who were living with Kulkarni are now untraceable.

After Kulkarni was arrested, the crime branch recovered a pen drive containing photographs of naked and semi-naked young men and women from his Bandra home. The agency said the people in the photographs were those Kulkarni had lured into his cult. They also found a sex clip in Kulkarni’s phone and pen drive and suspect that the man and woman in the clip are residents of Delhi, where the accused lived for a while. A team has been sent to Delhi to investigate further.

The police recovered a prescription for abortion pills, written on Kulkarni’s letterhead. They said it was written for a woman, whose identity is yet to be established.

Kulkarni has not appointed a lawyer and is choosing to argue the case himself. He has denied all the allegations against him in court.

“The women were abused by their parents. They asked the Borivli police and the women’s commission to file a complaint. The court should call them and record their statements. They have not been heard,” he said.

First Published: Apr 28, 2017 09:36 IST

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