The victim (veiled) with members of Janvadi Mahila Sanghathane
Prof Narendra Nayak, president of Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations, recently conducted a sting to expose an astrologer whose clients were mostly women. Following this expose, a victim has approached the police against the astrologer, claiming he has exploited her.
Twenty-four-year-old Vidya (name changed), a BCA graduate was going through several problems in her life, as her parents were separated, and she had failed to land a secure job. Though a brave girl, she fell prey to an advertisement repeatedly telecast on local television channels that projected “astrologer” Ramakrishna Sharma, who was recently arrested by the police. Since he had a “solution to all problems” and could “restore peace of mind”, according to the ads, she consulted Ramakrishna.
Speaking to Bangalore Mirror of her ordeal, she said, “Since nothing positive was happening in my life, I decided to try my luck with this astrologer in August. He convinced me that my problems would be solved for which I needed to pay Rs 15,000 for pujas he would perform. When I said I did not have the money, he said, I could pay half the amount then and the rest, after I got the results. Hence, I paid him Rs 8,000. He gave me a variety of prasads, some that were black in colour to be kept under my pillow, lemons under the bed and so on. After about one-and-a-half months, I noticed that my problems continued, so I asked him to refund the money I had paid him. He instead told me that my father’s family had performed black magic on me. I told him I had no enemies. He went on to ask me for more money but I did not pay him.”
Vidya says that his real name could be Lokesh, for that is how she was introduced to him. One day, when she saw some women waiting for him, she asked them to leave as he had no solution to their problems. But the astrologer managed to retain his clients.
“I realised that this man had no solution to anyone’s problems. He was only swindling people. He kept telling me that I will have to wait. Finally, he told me that my Doshas would end if I slept with a Brahmin. While he was very cool as he offered this solution, I was shocked and told him that I was not interested. I asked him to return my money,” she said.
On Jan 7, she decided to visit his office seeking refund. She found the office locked and was told by the people in the laundry below his “den” to call Prof Narendra Nayak. Vidya is convinced there are many women, especially those who could not conceive, out there unsure if they can approach the police.
Prof Nayak said, “When Ramakrishna Sharma was exposed by us, we were expecting that a can of worms would open up. Our predictions came out right, and there is more in store. When this rogue was arrested and remanded to judicial custody, we were expecting his victims to come out and narrate their tales of exploitation. Hence I had given my cell number to some people near the place he operated from. I had instructed them to direct any victim who wanted to fight for their rights to get in touch with me.
“When we met Vidya, she had not told me about the sex and sleaze. But when she revealed that during the course of her narration of the sequence of events about his suggestions to go to with a Brahmin, we decided to take all possible legal action against this fraud. So, now new cases are being registered against him. Two members of Janvadi Mahila Sanhgatane have come forward to help this girl in her quest for justice,”
HIS GURUJI FROM KERALA ASKED ME TO LIFT MY CLOTHES: VICTIM
His Guruji from Kerala asked me to lift my clothes: victim In December Vidya, got a call from the astrologer saying that his Guruji from Kerala was in town, and he would solve her problems. Vidya decided to visit Ramakrishna’s office and give it a shot. “The Guruji stated crying when I told him of my problems, and said I was like his daughter. On the pretext of performing some magic with an earthen port and some incense sticks, he asked me to lift my clothes so that he could sprinkle some ash from the pot onto me navel. When I refused, he himself tried to lift my skirt. I somehow freed myself from them and escaped from the place.