Man posed as sadhu dupes jeweller’s wife of Rs 1.75 crore, held

A conman masquerading as a sadhu was arrested in Rishikesh for allegedly duping a jeweller’s wife of cash and jewellery worth around Rs 1.75 crore, police said on Monday.

Mahendra Rode, aka, Yogi Priyavrat Animesh was arrested from Cottage no 21 of Nature Villa at Lal Tappar area late on Sunday night, Rishikesh DSP Dinesh Chandra Dhaundiyal said.

Gold and silver jewellery worth nearly Rs 10 lakh was also recovered from his possession, he said.

The conman had recently gotten his book ‘Manas Moti’ released by Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, police said.

He is being interrogated after being taken into judicial remand for 14 days, they added.

The arrest was made after a case was registered against him based on a complaint filed by a well-known jeweller of Rishikesh, Hitendra Panwar, who accused Animesh of duping his wife of cash and jewellery, Dhaundiyal said.

According to the complaint, the jeweller’s wife was mentally unstable and fell into the imposter’s trap in a bid to seek treatment.

The high-profile cheat was in a habit of getting himself photographed with influential people including politicians and posting the pictures on Facebook to flaunt his contacts. Moving around in the garb of a sadhu he used to look for soft targets and cheat them of their money, police said.

Several cases are lodged against Animesh at Karnal in Haryana. He was sent to jail twice in the past in connection with different cases, the official said.

Efforts are underway to recover the looted cash and jewellery from him, the DSP said.

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