Hyderabad: Panjagutta police on Friday arrested a fake godman who duped a number of people by promising to double their gold. Gold ornaments weighing 1.2 kg, Rs.4.2 lakh, five mobile phones and a tab, all worth over Rs.35 lakh were seized from his possession.
The fake godman N Srinu alias Siddireddy Satyanarayana (39) from Neeladriraopeta in East Godavari in AP was arrested after his fraud came to light on a complaint made by Srinivas Reddy. According to sources Srinivas Reddy met the accused during a bus journey from Bhadrachalam to the city last month. The fake baba had drugged Srinivas with ‘teerdham’ laced with sedatives during a ‘puja’ at a Panjagutta lodge, following which Reddy had lost Rs 1.2 lakh and 5 tola gold.
According to West Zone DCP A Venkateswar Rao, the modus operandi of the fake baba was he would frequent temple towns, gain the trust of victims and offer to perform puja at their houses. He would also told people that he would double gold ornaments and facilitate in providing gold ornaments at a competitive price than the market price.
He would then offer water ‘teertham’ laced with sleeping pills then sedate them and escape with valuables. He also cheated some people saying that there was a bad omen on their family, which could be cured if they accompanied him to pilgrimage centers.
He had duped 11 people from Panjagutta, Asif Nagar, Golconda in the city, and Srikalahasti, Vizag, Tirupati, Khammam, Kurnool and Bhadrachalam in AP, during the past one year, said Panjagutta detective inspector B Lakshminarayana Reddy.
He would later visit another city and commit a similar offence. Srinu was also arrested earlier in 2013 in East Godavari. During interrogation he disclosed that he did have a house of his own and that his family had deserted him.