Jammu, Nov 3 (PTI) A self-styled godman was arrested Saturday after being on the run for the last nearly one month following rape charges levelled against him by a minor girl in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir, police said. Swami Brahmanand Saraswati, a resident of Mathura, was arrested by a special team of Jammu and Kashmir Police from an ashram in Uttar Pradesh even as he had disguised his looks by shaving his head and the beard, a police spokesman said.
Terming the arrest of the accused as a “major success”, he said the fake godman had allegedly raped the girl in a village in Reasi district where he was putting up for the last 20 years and had made many followers.
“The minor girl on October 6 reported the incident in police station Reasi along with her parents that Saraswati had committed rape on her and threatened her of dire consequences if she disclosed it to anyone,” the spokesman said, adding the minor girl delivered a female child which was stillborn on the same day.
“The victim’s statement was got recorded in the court of law and a manhunt for the accused was launched after registration of a rape case.
“On the basis of surveillance of mobile phones and help from locals the suspected location of the accused was traced to his hometown Varanasi,” the spokesman said. After getting the input a special team was immediately rushed to the location of Jhansi, in Utttar Pradesh where the team after reaching got to know the exact whereabouts of the accused and proceeded to Abhay Sanyas Ashram, Manikaran Ghat, Varanasi, he said.
The spokesman said the team also sought the help of local police and succeeded in arresting the accused, who had taken shelter in the ashram and had disguised his looks by shaving his head and the beard.
The accused was immediately taken on four days transit remand from a local court in Varanasi and brought to the jurisdiction of police station Reasi for further investigation, he said.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.