Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 31:
The commissionerate police today arrested the self-styled godman Sura Baba alias Surendra Mishra, head of Trahi Achyuta Ashram, and his two sons after an hour-long interrogation in the Odisha capital.
Sura Baba and his two sons—Biranchi and Trilochan—were arrested at 10.30 AM under the case no 187/2015 registered by the Balipatna police, commissionerate police said.
Police have slapped charges against the trio under section 341 (Punishment for wrongful restraint), 342 (Punishment for wrongful confinement), 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 294 ( sings, recites or utters any obscene song, ballad or words, in or near any public place), 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation) and 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of IPC and section 3(I)(x) of the ST and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Besides, charges under Sec 25 of the Arms Act have also been slapped against Sura Baba after the recovery of two air guns and three 9 mm live cartridges from the ashram this morning.
Meanwhile, two women lodged FIRs against the Baba at Balipatna police station. While the first case lodged by Jyotsna Rani Pradhan (case no 191.2015) accused the Baba of sexual exploitation of women devotees, the second registered by Sabita Barik of Bhubaneswar charged him with driving a wedge between husband and wife.
Basing on Ms Pradhan’s complaint, police have pressed charges under section 109 (An act or offence is said to be committed in consequence of abetment, when it is committed in consequence of the instigation, or in pursuance of the conspiracy, or with the aid which constitutes the abetment), 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 509 (Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and 34 ( Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention.—When a criminal act is done by several persons in furtherance of the common intention of all, each of such persons is liable for that act in the same manner as if it were done by him alone.) of the IPC.
As per the complaint lodge by the woman, she was subjected to physical and mental torture by the ashram inmates as per the direction of the Baba.
In her FIR, the woman has named four associates of the Baba – Tuna, Papu, Aakhila and Saswat – and four women associates – Binapani Ghadei, Dipti Mihanty, Jyotsna Swain and Jyotsna Mohanty – who she said used to coearce her to take classes in Baba’s night classes.
Besides, Balipatna police have also registered another case by a policeman injured in violence by the Baba’s goons during the stand-off yesterday.