Friday, January 9, 2015

A guru who ordered 400 of his followers to undergo castrations that he said would bring them closer to God has been put under investigation by police in India

India's top crime fighting agency registered a case against Gurmeet Ram Rahim - known as the "guru in bling" for his penchant for garish clothes and jewellery - over the operations at his ashram. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said that Rahim is being investigated for criminal intimidation and causing grievous bodily harm after an alleged 400 castrations were carried out. The guru, who heads the Dera Sacha Sauda organisation based in Haryana state, is already facing trial for conspiracy over the murder of a journalist in 2002, as well as with claims of sexually exploiting female followers. The latest case was filed after one of his devotees, Hansraj Chauhan, lodged a complaint in court alleging that he was manipulated into having the painful operation at the ashram. Rahim stars in an action movie to be released soon called "MSG: Messenger of God" in which the guru fights criminals, sings songs and is shown dousing himself in water in slow motion after a rugby game. India has been rocked by numerous scandals involving popular godmen who are mostly Hindu ascetics claiming to possess mystical powers. In November 2014, police arrested Baba Rampal Maharaj after a long and violent siege at his ashram in Haryana when he refused to comply with court orders in a murder case. In a bizarre case, devotees of a dead guru are fighting a court battle in Punjab state to preserve his body in a freezer, insisting that he is only meditating.

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