In our country, many celebs and famous personalities have a brush with the law. In these days Godmen of our country are also not behind, they are also having some rough time with the law. Here's the list of India's controversial Godmen:
Swami Premananda (1997)
Originally a Tamil from Sri Lanka, Kumar had an ashram and orphanage there, in Matale. He moved to India with his followers in 1984 to escape the Sri Lankan Civil War, bringing with him undocumented Sri Lankan orphans who had been in his care. In 1994, one of the girls living in the ashram, Arul Jyothi, escaped and reported that she had been raped and was pregnant. On 20 August 1997, Premananda was sentenced to life imprisonment and fined ₹67.3 lakhs for 13 counts of rape, molestations of two girls and a murder. Failure to pay the fine was to carry an additional term of 32 years and 9 months. He was also convicted of cheating the residents of his ashram, which carried another one-year sentence.
Baba Piara Singh Bhaniara (2001)
Piara Singh grew up in a modest family, his father Tulsi Ram, a mason, was a caretaker of two mazaars. After his father's death, Bhaniara took over the mazaars and proclaimed himself a baba (a spiritually advanced person). Bhaniara wrote a book Bhavsagar Granth, describing his miracles, and released it in 2001. This offended the Sikhs, who complained that Bhaniara was equating himself with the Sikh gurus. Bhaniara was arrested in October 2001. His book was banned by the government, and several copies of it were burned.
Jayendra Saraswati (2004)
Jayendra Saraswati is the sixty-ninth Shankaracharya of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham. Keeping with the Shankaracharya's oft-expressed concerns the Jayalalithaa government in Tamil Nadu enacted a law to ban religious conversions and enforced a ban on animal sacrifice in temples. Kanchi seer Jayendra Saraswati and his junior Vijayendra are the prime accused in the murder of Sankararaman, the manager of the Varadarajaperumal temple at Kanchipuram, on September 3, 2004.
His association with former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao brought Chandraswami the controversial tantrik into prominence. Chandraswami has been accused of several financial irregularities and was ordered by the Supreme Court to pay a penalty in several Foreign Exchange Management Act violation cases registered by the enforcement directorate. The CBI has been investigating the suspected role of the self-styled godman in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
Ichchadhari Sant Swami Bhimanand Ji Maharaj Chitrakoot Wale (2010)
He was first arrested in Lajpat Nagar in 1997 for running a prostitution racket. After release from jail, he changed his track and called himself as a disciple of Sai Baba. He built assets worth several crores in the past 12 years.
Swami Sadachari (2010)
The once-influential godman, who is believed to have performed rituals at a prime minister's residence, was nabbed only when he fell out of favour with those in power. He has been in jail for running a brothel.
Swami Nithyananda (2010)
Swami Nithyananda is a Hindu spiritual leader. He is the founder of Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam, which is based in India but has devotees on a broader international scale. Nithyananda landed in a controversy after a purported video footage showing him in a compromising position with an actress was telecast by local TV channels. Nithyananda said the video was morphed and manipulated to misrepresent his personal life but did not deny his images with actress Ranjita in the film. He was also accused of rape.
Asaram Bapu (2013)
Asaram Bapu one of the most popular and most followed Godman is currently lodged in jail in rape and murder case. In September 2013, the father of the 16-year-old girl who accused Asharam Bapu of sexually assaulting her allegations that he had received death threats from Asharam Bapu's followers. In December 2013, Asharam Bapu's son Narayan Sai was also arrested on charges of rape, after two sisters from Surat alleged that he and his father had raped them in Asharam Bapu's ashram during the mid-2000s.
Sant Rampal (2014)
In 1999, Rampal founded the Satlok Ashram in Karotha village of Rohtak district, drawing on his following from within the Kabir Panth. During the 2000s, he established several other ashrams, and gained a number of followers in Haryana, especially in Rohtak and Jhajjar districts. In 2006, Rampal raised objections to certain parts of Satyarth Prakash, the central text of the Arya Samaj religious sect. He termed these parts as 'impractical and anti-social'. This angered the followers of Arya Samaj, who surrounded his ashram, eventually resulting in a clash between the followers of two sects on 12 July 2006.
Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh (2017)
The self-styled Godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh who has supposedly followers in crores is in news headlines these days due to his antics. There are quite a few cases against him which e.g. rape and murder. He has his own Dera at Sirsa. He started his own sect which is called 'Insan'. His followers are also known as 'Dera Premi'.