Kerala plans to probe godmen’s wealth

May 22nd, 2008 - 5:19 pm ICT by admin  

Thiruvananthapuram, May 22 (IANS) The Kerala government plans to hold a detailed inter-departmental inquiry into the wealth of the godmen from all religious communities in Kerala. The inquiry is likely to be carried out by the revenue and the registration departments.

The move comes at a time when the state police intelligence department has already begun a probe into the activities of these godmen.

An official in state Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s office told IANS that the minister is in Delhi and there is every likelihood for an inter-departmental probe into these godmen operating in the state.

“This would be clear tomorrow (Friday) because the cabinet meeting is also scheduled for tomorrow,” said the official on condition of anonymity.

Reports have started coming in that the state police intelligence has already inspected the houses of at least a dozen godmen in Kollam, Thrissur, Kozhikode and Kannur districts.

The inter-departmental inquiry by the revenue and registration departments would bring to light the asset holdings of these godmen, and if reports are to be believed, several godmen have diverted their money into real estate.

Life became tough for these godmen after two self-styled godmen came into the police net last week at Kochi.

The first saffron-robed man to hit the headlines was Santhosh Madhavan alias Swami Amritachaithanya, arrested May 13 and charged with the rape of a teenage girl and possession of ‘ganja’ (marijuana). A tiger skin and a large number of pornographic films were also recovered from his house in Kochi.

The second godman, whose threats to shoot himself inside a police station in Aluva were beamed across television sets Saturday, is Himaval Maheswara Bhadranandaji, popularly known as ‘Ernakulam Swami’.

He was taken to the police station after he threatened suicide. And in full view of the media, Bhadranandaji, with a pistol at his forehead, hurled abuses at the media for alleged negative publicity.

When police officials tried to stop him, the gun went off and a bullet whizzed past a reporter. In the ensuing melee, another shot was fired, injuring Bhadranandaji. He is now cooling his heels in the police custody.

Preliminary inquires by the intelligence officials revealed that these godmen have considerable wealth without any proper records or accounts.

State Law Minister M. Vijayakumar told reporters at Kollam Thursday that the existing laws are enough to tackle various offences by these persons.

“There are certain loopholes in these laws and we are now looking into how these laws can be made fool-proof and we will do the needful,” said Vijayakumar.

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