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Assam police arrest ‘kissing baba’

Some hugs create controversy. Some — with a few kisses thrown in as therapy — lead to a life behind bars, as a self-styled godman in Assam has found out.

The police in central Assam’s Morigaon district on Wednesday arrested Ram Prakash Chauhan, who came to be known as the ‘kissing baba’ for his ‘ chamatkari chumban ’ (‘miraculous smooch’).

Chauhan had set up a temple in the district’s Bhoraltup village three months ago. His claim to possessing supernatural powers to solve physical and psychological problems of women, including marital discord, earned him a reputation.

“We arrested him after receiving complaints that he was hugging and kissing women as some kind of therapy. He was exploiting his devotees, especially women,” J. Bora, head of the Morigaon police team that arrested Chauhan, said.

The police also arrested his mother for complicity in spreading the news of her son’s therapeutic powers “acquired from Lord Vishnu” and transmitted through kisses on any woman seeking a cure.

Magical healers are synonymous with Morigaon district, where literacy is lower than in most of the other 32 districts of Assam, because of Mayong — a black magic village where scores of ojha or bej (wizards) have practised quack therapy for ages.

Most of Morigaon district’s faith healers claim to be “blessed” by Lord Vishnu.

The last such healer who became a sensation in India and beyond in 2001 was 12-year-old Tinku Deka.

The police had a tough time controlling waves of devotees, who came from as far as Europe, for a piece of cure-all root that, Deka claimed, Lord Vishnu had revealed to him in a dream.

He was exploiting his devotees, especially women

J. Bora

Morigaon police team head

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