Two followers of rape-accused ‘godman’ arrested for abetment

Two followers of rape-accused ‘godman’ arrested for abetment
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Panaji: Two followers of a self-styled godman from Karnataka who is wanted in a case of rape in Goa have been arrested on the charge of abetment, police said on Sunday.

The godman himself, who goes by the name ‘Ravishankar’, is still untraceable. A Goa police team had gone to Kundapur in Karnataka, his native town, on his trail, but returned empty-handed.

“Santosh Kumbhar and Nikhil Chavan, two followers of the godman, were arrested last night for abetting the crime,” said inspector Nolasco Raposo of Vasco police station.

“They were produced before a court immediately after the arrest. The court remanded them in 11-day police custody,” Raposo added.

A 19-year-old woman, hailing from Achra in Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra and presently living in Goa, lodged a complaint on October 6 that the godman had allegedly raped her at a house near Mapusa, the police said.

According to the woman, Kumbhar, an acquaintance, gave her lift in his car, promising to drop her at Achra as she was planning to travel to her hometown on October 5, they said.

On the way, Kumbhar offered her a soft drink, which the woman later suspected to be laced with drug, the police said.

Kumbhar drove to a house near Mapusa where the godman was present with Chavan. While Kumbhar and Chavan left the house, the godman allegedly raped her, she said in her complaint, they added.

Police registered a case under section 376 of the IPC (rape) and under other relevant sections.