Odisha police arrest another godman, his two sons

Bhubaneswar, Aug 31 (IANS) A self-styled godman and his two sons have been arrested following public outcry over his alleged wrong-doings and an FIR lodged by a social activist, police said on Monday.

Police arrested Surendranath Mishra and his sons from the controversial Trahi Achyut Ashram situated on the outskirts of state capital Bhubaneswar in the early hours of Monday. Police also reportedly seized two guns from the ashram.

On Sunday night, an irate mob barged into the ashram, set vehicles on fire, and burnt down houses and other assets in the premises.

“We are interrogating the trio from every possible angle, including financial irregularities, land encroachment, sheltering criminals and sexual harassment,” a senior police official said.

Odisha Police earlier arrested self-proclaimed godman Sarathi Baba on charge of financial irregularities and sexual escapades.

Odisha Samajika Nyaya Abhiyan president Jayanta Kumar Bhoi lodged a complaint at Balipatna police station to demand the arrest of the so-called godman and his two sons within 24 hours.

“If the government failed to act against the self-styled godman within the time stipulated in the complaint, hundreds of people will gherao the chief minister’s residence,” Bhoi warned.

He said the accused had taken illegal possession of many acres of land, a timber depot in Brahmeswar area, 14 trucks and many more buildings.

Meanwhile, state police deployed more personnel at the ashram to maintain law and order.

Commissioner of Police R.P. Sharma said: “Based on prima facie evidence gathered, prompt, transparent and strict action will be taken against anyone found guilty.”

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