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Maharashtra: Police warn organisers to ensure Bageshwar Dham chief doesn’t make any controversial remark

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With anti-superstition organisations and opposition parties objecting to the event of self-styled godman Dhirendra Krishna Shastri at Mira Road in Maharashtra’s Thane district, the police issued a notice to the organisers to ensure that the preacher does not make any controversial statement, which could lead to possible law and order situation, an official said on Sunday.

The two-day event of the religious leader began at Salasar Central Park Ground in Mira Road on Saturday.

Meanwhile, as many as 36 women complained that their gold chains were stolen by pickpockets during a four-hour long sermon by Shastri that was attended by thousands of people, police said.

The religious discourse by Dhirendra Krishna Shastri, the head priest of Bageshwar Dham in Madhya Pradesh’s Chhatarpur district, was organised by Shantaben Mithalal Jain Charitable Trust. The event will also be held at the same venue on Sunday.

Shastri, popularly called Bageshwar Dham Sarkar, has considerable followers in Madhya Pradesh as well as other parts of the country. A couple of months back, rationalist Shyam Manav from Maharashtra had challenged him to prove miracles.

The two-day programme of Dhirendra Krishna Shastri was opposed by a few anti-superstition organisations. These groups had submitted a memorandum to the local police on Friday, requesting them not to give permission to the event. In view of this resistance, the local police had issued a notice to the organisers on Saturday afternoon to ensure that Shastri desists from making any provocative remarks during the event.

In a tweet, NCP MLA and former state minister Jitendra Awhad said it was unfortunate that the discourse by the one who insulted saint Tukaram Maharaj is being held in Maharashtra.

Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole had recently written to the state government recently, urging it that the religious leader not be allowed to enter the state. The Congress leader accused him of insulting Tukaram Maharaj and offending lakhs of his devotees.

During his programme on Saturday, the Bageshwar Dham chief said those opposed to religion will not be spared.

“The entire Bharat will be made the Bharat of Lord Ram. I know that they will not spare me, but we will not spare them either,” he said.

Meanwhile, 36 women approached the Mira Road police station alleging that their gold chains were stolen by pickpockets during the event addressed by Dhirendra Krishna Shastri between 4 pm and 10 pm, they said.

“So far, 36 women have come forward to lodge complaints that their gold chains or ‘mangalsutra’ necklaces were stolen during the ‘satsang’ programme. The total value of these gold chains is Rs 4.87 lakh,” an official attached to the Mira Bhayandar-Vasai Virar police commissionerate said.

The complainants approached the Mira Road police during the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday, he said.

“The victims thronged the police station, due to which chaos prevailed there for some time. Police faced a tough time,” the official said.

The complainants said that thousands of people were present at the religious event, he added.


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