A person claiming to be a doctor, who allegedly took Rs.14 lakh from a couple after promising to heal their mentally challenged daughter, was arrested by the Kalamassery police on Wednesday morning.

M.D. Vaidya, 40, of Adoor, was running an institution named Brain Bridge on Manakkodam Road, Elamakkara. A couple from Thiruvananthapuram approached him when he claimed that he could cure the illness of their mentally challenged daughter. Police said Vaidya took Rs.14 lakh from the couple and administered fake ‘treatment’ to the child. He allegedly tied the girl up and gagged her. When she resisted, he hit her with a cane. Police said he told the girl’s parents that she would be physically and mentally well if she drank water in which diamonds, pearls and other precious gems were kept. The girl’s parents filed a complaint with Thrikkakara Assistant Commissioner of Police Bijo Alexander as there was no change in the girl’s condition after six months of ‘treatment’.

Vaidya was arrested on Wednesday from his house at Pulluvazhy near Perumbavoor. The police are also investigating his finances and whether he had cheated other persons too.

“He has a website and he advertised extensively online and in newspapers, claiming scientific basis for his methods. We have found that many parents desperate for their children’s well-being came to him from different parts of the State and abroad,” said M.B. Latheef, sub-inspector of police, Kalamassery.