Gurus in trouble: Charges against some of India’s self-styled godmen


NATIONAL | April 26, 2018 (TNN): One of the Most infamous godman Asaram on Wednesday sentenced to life imprisonment till death for raping a teenage girl studying at his ashram in August 2013. The disgraced "godman" was arrested in Indore on September 1, 2013 and has been lodged at the Jodhpur Central Jail ever since. While reading out the judgement, the judge said "In my humble opinion, Asaram not only broke the faith of the complainant but also spoiled the image of saints among common men."

Rape, murder and money laundering are in fact some of the charges against a bunch of India's powerful 'gurus' who have political clout, wealth and a following of many thousands. With the Asaram verdict, the issue of sexual offences and other crimes by these so-called spiritual leaders is in the spotlight once again. We take a look at some of these infamous godmen.


Adhyatmik Vishwa Vidyalaya – the ashram run by him in Delhi's Vijay Vihar near Rohini and other places

CHARGES: Accused in multiple cases of sexual assault and rape, as well as illegal confinement

STATUS: Absconding


Founder Satlok Ashram and a leader of Kabir Panth. He enjoys a following in Haryana

CHARGES: Murder. Skipped court summons 43 times between 2010 and 2014. His thousands of supporters who wielded lathis, sticks and firearms prevented the police from arresting him. The cops were finally able to enter his Hisar ashram successfully on November 19. 2014 when he was arrested. Bodies of five women and a baby were found inside

STATUS: In jail. Faces charges in at least six other cases


A self-styled godman and chief of the Dera Sacha Sauda

CHARGES: Convicted of raping two disciples

STATUS: In August 2017, a CBI court sentenced him to 20 years in prison and fined him Rs 30 lakh. His arrest triggered widespread violence and arson in Haryana where 30 people were killed and over 250 were injured after which curfew was imposed at several places


Runs Dhyanapeeta Charitable Trust in Bidadi, near Bengaluru. In 2010, local channels aired footage of the swami in a compromising position with a Tamil actress. The same year, a former follower filed a complaint of sexual harassment

CHARGES: Booked for rape and indulging in unnatural sex

STATUS: Was in jail for 52 days in April 2010 before getting bail


Shreemurath Dwivedi started as a security guard at a five-star hotel in Delhi's Nehru Place in 1988 before reinventing himself as Bhimanand

CHARGES: Arrested in 2010 for running a high-profile sex racket

STATUS: In jail

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