Other States

Self-styled godman Vairagyanand Giri arrested in Gwalior for allegedly raping a devotee

Vairagyanand Giri, also known as Mirchi Baba, being produced in Bhopal Court  after he was arrested on rape charges on Tuesday.

Vairagyanand Giri, also known as Mirchi Baba, being produced in Bhopal Court after he was arrested on rape charges on Tuesday. | Photo Credit: A.M. FARUQUI

Self-styled godman Baba Vairagyanand Giri, also known as Mirchi Baba, was arrested on Tuesday in Gwalior for allegedly raping a woman.

Gwalior superintendent of police, Amit Sanghi, said that the case against Mirchi Baba was registered in Bhopal’s Mahila Police Thana and the accused was arrested following a joint action by a visiting team of Bhopal Police and a team of the Gwalior Crime Branch.

“The joint raid was carried near Narayanam Hotel and the accused was arrested. Following the arrest, he was taken to Bhopal for further interrogation as the case is registered there,” said Mr. Sanghi.

In her complaint, the victim said that even after four years of marriage, she had not been able to conceive and had approached the Baba for help. She has purportedly alleged that Vairagyanand Giri made her consume some intoxicants and raped her after she fell unconscious due to their effect. Following the complaint, a case under section 376 of the Indian Penal Code was registered against Vairagyanand Giri.

While being taken away by the police, the godman claimed that he was innocent.

Mirchi Baba, known for his controversial statements, the most recent against Union Minister Smriti Irani, had campaigned for the Congress party during the 2018 Assembly elections. He was accorded a rank of 'Minister of State' in the Kamal Nath-led Congress government that was formed that year.

He had also supported former Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, even claiming that he would take jal samadhi (submerging oneself in water) if Mr. Singh failed to win.

His arrest led to Opposition from some Congress leaders with party MLA and former Minister P.C. Sharma accusing the State’s BJP government of indulging in tactics like slapping false cases to pressurise his party.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2022 10:22:54 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/self-styled-godman-vairagyanand-giri-arrested-for-allegedly-raping-a-devotee/article65750513.ece