STORY: A Hindu seers group in India’s northern Allahabad city on Sunday (September 10) released names of ‘fake’ godmen and spiritual leaders after one of them was convicted of rape India last month.
The Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad released a list of 14 such godmen and urged the government to introduce new laws against them to check their activities.
Group’s chief Narendra Giri said godmen like Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh have spoiled the name of others also and the verdict against him had forced the committee to form the list and dethrone them of their status.
Giri further provided a checklist of sorts for fake godmen and said those who have family and wear modern clothes should not be trusted.
The list of the committee comes after a court sentenced Singh to 20 years in prison for raping two women.
The verdict had led to widespread violence in northern India.
Singh was the head of a social welfare and spiritual group and was found guilty of raping two followers in a case dating back to 2002 at the headquarters of his Dera Sacha Sauda group in the northern town of Sirsa.
Along with Singh, self-styled godman Asaram Bapu, who is serving his time in prison on charges of sexually assaulting a schoolgirl was also named in the banned list.
India has an array of self styled spiritual leaders, who attract devoted followers and, in some cases, gain significant money, power and political influence.