Kerala police question independent church leader

May 26th, 2008 - 9:25 pm ICT by admin  

Kottayam (Kerala), May 26 (IANS) Continuing its increased vigilance against ‘godmen’ in the state, the Kerala police Monday questioned Thanku Brother, the self-declared head of an independent church, Heavenly Feast. The police last week raided the offices of Heavenly Feast, and sized some Indian and foreign currency from the premises.

Deputy Superintendent of Police B.K. Madhu said that all documents seized from Thanku’s residence and the office of the church will be handed over to the Enforcement Directorate.

Thanku is believed to have amassed wealth through his church activities, and his frequent foreign trips have come under the police scrutiny.

Meanwhile, activists of the Sree Narayana Youth Movement were baton-charged by the police Monday after their protest march to the headquarters of Heavenly Feast turned violent.

The godmen in the state have come under the police scanner after two self-styled ’swami’ (godmen) were arrested in Kochi this month.

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 teenaged 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 live on television May 17, is Himaval Maheswara Bhadranandaji, popularly known as ‘Ernakulam Swami’.

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