Kanpur: Nearly 4,100 people have been booked for lockdown violation in Kanpur. These are the devotees of Shobhan Sarkar, the ‘gold digger’ saint who died on Wednesday.
The saint was laid to rest on Thursday and thousands thronged the Sunhaura ashram in the Chaubeypur area to pay homage.
Chaubeypur Station House Officer (SHO) Vinay Tiwari said, “We tried to prevent the crowds but could not stop them from reaching the ashram. We made public announcements that only 20 people are allowed in cremation/funeral but no one paid heed. We have booked 4,100 in three cases of lockdown violation and we will identify them through video footage.”
The videos of the event have gone viral on the social media and several political leaders also attended the last rites of Shobhan Sarkar, who wielded a considerable clout in the region.
According to the SHO, the first case has been registered in Sunoda Ghat against 2,000 people and the second at Bandi Mata against 1,200 people. The third case against 900 people has been lodged at Bela Road.
However, it is not clear whether the police also booked case against scores of ministers, MPs and political leaders who attended the funeral, defying lockdown.
Shobhan Sarkar a.k.a. Suryabhan Tiwari, was a self-styled god-man from the Shobhan village in Shivali area of Kanpur.
In October 2013, he hit the headlines when he claimed that he had dreamt that a gold reserve of 1,000 tonnes was buried under the palace of Rao Ram Baksh Singh, a 19th century chieftain in Unnao’s Daundia Khera.
A few days later, an order was issued to excavate the site.
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) teams started digging the area and thousands thronged the site to witness the emergence of gold.
However, after several days of digging when no trace of gold was found in the area, the operation was called off.
Shobhan Sarkar lost much of his spiritual sheen after the incident though his devotees continued to believe in him.