The case of the self-styled ‘godmen’ and their sinister antics seem to have no end. After Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was convicted for rape and sentenced to prison for a term of 20 years, a report of another such ‘guru’ being up to no good has surfaced in Delhi. According to the report, a “spiritual guru” who goes by the name of Ichchadhari Bheemanand had been running a sex racket in Delhi in the name of spirituality and mysticism.
This comes in light of an FIR filed by a woman who has accused Bheemanand of cheating her of Rs. 30 lakhs. The woman, a resident of Rohini in South West Delhi, alleged that a man called Shiv Murat Dwivedi, along with an accomplice named Kankana Deb had promised her and her two siblings employment in Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) through means of ‘mysticism’ and prayer. The police, upon investigation, unearthed that Shiva was nobody else but Mr. self-styled guru himself, Ichchadhari Bheemanand. According to accused, Bheemanand and Deb duped her of Rs. 30 lakhs over a course of time. Needless to say, no form of employment took shape for the woman.
— DCP South East Delhi (@DCPSEastDelhi) August 28, 2017
He, along with Deb, have now been arrested. He confessed to having cheated the woman of money. But all of this began long ago.
Sex racket in 1997
Back in 1997, he was arrested by the Lajpat Nagar police in Delhi for running a high profile prostitution racket and was released on bail. But for all his teachings, he never learnt.
There’s a lot of that people get away with in the garb of ‘holiness’. (Ram Rahim Singh, I see you.) So after being released on bail, he styled himself as a spiritual guru – Ichchadhari Bheemanand – to avoid more run-ins with the law. Thus began his journey of duping people for money in the name of spiritualism.
He’d stationed himself as a ‘Baba’ in a temple in Badarpur area of South Delhi. Female devotees, who bought into his garb, came to him for solutions to problems. Bheemanand took advantage of these women’s problems (many of which were financial) and lured them into the prostitution racket he was running with the help of some of his “devotees”.
In 2010, he was arrested by the South District Police for being involved in a sex racket. Two air hostesses, a Delhi University student and a management graduate were also arrested with him. The Delhi police stated that the women who were caught in the bust, engaged in sexual activities with Bhemanand’s clients ‘voluntarily’ in exchange for money. But Bheemanand, the mediator of these deals and at the time of the bust, was in a hotel room with a prospective client. In spite of a second arrest, he got out on bail.
The rising toll of cases not withstanding, Bheemanand went back to fashioning himself as a ‘baba’, For 12 years, he has been amassed crores of rupees using his ‘baba’ dhong, duping people of money with promises of riches and blessing.
Crimes against women in the name of religion and spirituality are on the rise, as demonstrated by Asaram Bapu, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, Swami Nithyanand and now this Ichchadhari dudebro. These god-men and their unscrupulous actions (the dude was arrested twice for heaven’s sake) is reflective of the unfazed confidence men hiding behind ‘spiritualism’ display.
Can we all find them a single cell in prison for them to practice ‘spiritual’ repentance? ‘Ichchadhari‘ in Hindi means ‘who one who can change shape at will’. Here’s hoping Sir Bheemanand and his entourage of self-styled gurus change their shape to steam.