FIR against Daati Maharaj for flouting lockdown norms

 thehindu.com  05/23/2020 19:07:01 

The Delhi police, on Saturday, registered a case against self-styled godman Daati Maharaj and his accomplices for allegedly violating social distancing norms during a ceremony at a temple in Delhis Maidan Garhi area.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Atul Kumar Thakur said that the police found out that some photographs of a ceremony at Shanidham Mandir in Asola have been circulated on social media wherein social distancing norms were not followed and a religious congregation was organised in contravention of the lockdown guidelines.

During preliminary enquiry, it was revealed that around 7.30 p.m. on Friday, chief priest of Shanidham Mandir, Daati Maharaj, along with some other persons, had performed a ceremony at the temple, Mr. Thakur said.

The police said that as Daati Maharaj and those visible in the photographs with him violated government guidelines on lockdown, prima facie, they have been found to have committed an offence and a case under Section 188 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code, 54 B of the DDMA and Section 3 of the Epidemic Diseases Act has been registered at Maidan Garhi police station on Saturday.

In 2018, a woman lodged a complaint at Fatehpur Beri police station, alleging rape and unnatural sex against the god-man, who is the founder of Delhi-based Shree Shanidham Trust.

The complaint was lodged against Daati Madan Lal, alias Daati Maharaj, on June 7 and an FIR was registered on June 11.

The police had on June 22 questioned the accused, who was charged with raping a disciple at his ashrams in Delhi and Rajasthan. He was later charge-sheeted.

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