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From jalebi wala to baba to serial rapist: Tohana mahant was blackmailing victims

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Baba Amarpuri allegedly filmed the women he raped. In some cases, he used the footage to blackmail the victims for money.

Chandigarh: Amarpuri, a 60-year-old baba or religious preacher from Haryana who has been accused of allegedly raping 60 women, some of them more than once, was also blackmailing his victims for money, said sources in the Haryana Police Saturday.

Baba Amarpuri had not only allegedly raped his victims but also filmed them. In some cases, he was blackmailing the victims using the footage, forcing them to continue to have sexual relations with him. From his richer clients, he was allegedly extracting money to keep their video footage under wraps.

He was arrested from his house-cum-temple premises in Tohana in Haryana’s Fatehabad district Thursday on fresh charges of rape. This is the second case of rape registered against him. He was on bail for an earlier rape charge leveled against him October last year.

Modus operandi

Women clients flocked to Baba Amarpuri, who claimed to be a tantrik with knowledge of occult practices and offered to sort out their various problems.

As part of his modus operandi, Baba Amarpuri would take the gullible women clients into a room in the basement of his house-cum-temple where mobile cameras were installed. He would then allegedly mix drugs with eatables and tea. He also reportedly mixed drugs in the vibhuti, making the women inhale the smoke. The drugged women, who passed out or became semi-conscious, were then allegedly raped by the baba.

Baba Amarpuri told the victims that he was blessed with special powers and was “overtaken” by a great soul which was going to treat them. “He claimed he had the skill to hypnotise anyone,” said Bimla Devi, SHO, women police station, Fatehabad.

Some of the victims, say sources, kept returning to the baba because they had become addicted to the drugs he allegedly offered.

Mahant from Tohana

Baba Amarpuri, whose real name is Amarveer, has been living in Tohana for almost three decades and doubled up as the ‘mahant’ (priest) of the Baba Balak Nath temple running from his 200 sq. ft house there.

He began by selling jalebis in the town’s main market. “His tiny outfit ‘Amarveer Ke Punjabi Tohfe’ became very famous and people came from the end of town to buy the Punjabi sweets he prepared,” said a local resident.

After he made some money, Amarpuri bought a plot in Bhatia Nagar where he constructed a mandir with a basement in his house. After his wife died, he ‘vanished’ for two years only to resurface as a baba. Claiming to have learnt tantric vidya (occult practices) in that time, Amarpuri said he had become a Naga Sadhu.

He has three daughters and two sons.

The baba was reportedly notorious for his activities in the area and locals stayed away from him. However, he managed to get ‘clients’ from outside Tohana, including Punjab and New Delhi. A huge billboard of him in his baba attire is fixed outside his house which the police raided Friday after arresting him.

Videos clips

The baba was arrested after a host of videos of him in his den violating women devotees surfaced online. A close associate (name withheld) of Amarpuri who was privy to everything, is said to have exposed the baba after he allegedly raped a woman known to this associate.

Sources, however, add that the baba and his associate parted ways due to differences over sharing the extortion money gathered from the victims.

ThePrint has learnt that the baba’s associate handed over to the police a CD containing 90- 120 video clips of the baba in various sexual acts. While some of the clips are of the baba repeatedly raping the same women on different occasions, there are at least 60 different women in these clips.

“From the clips, we have gathered that most of his victims are young but there is no video clip of his having violated an underage women or child,” said Bimla Devi, adding that the baba has been arrested under various sections of the IPC and the IT Act.

Amarpuri was remanded to five days in police custody by a local court Friday. Apart from documents and notebooks, the police also recovered medicinal drugs and several items used in occult practices from his house.

The local police have appealed to the women who were allegedly victimised by the baba to contact them. The police have promised to keep their identity a secret, even offering to not inform the families of the victims. “Three women have already approached us and their statements are being recorded,” said Bimla Devi.

The Haryana police have also warned the public not to share or forward the said video clips as it was a criminal act.

Not the first time

Amarpuri was booked for rape also in October 2017 when a married woman accused him of sexual assault inside his house. The woman alleged that the baba had promised to “treat” her. He called her home, fed her something and allegedly raped her when she became semi-conscious. Further, he threatened to get her family eliminated in case she informed anyone about the incident.

Close relatives of the baba then reportedly did a sting operation on the victim and caught her accepting money to withdraw her complaint.  The victim was jailed on charges of blackmail while the baba was let off on bail.

The baba has denied the fresh allegations against him. “I am being framed by certain persons inimical towards me. A case was registered against me earlier and I have already paid Rs 16 lakh for it. Now these people were demanding another Rs 13 lakh, which I did not pay. Then they made the videos and are blackmailing me,” he told local news channels following his arrest.

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1 COMMENT

  1. How many more such tragedies will take place before Indians, especially women, see through these charlatans …

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