CHENNAI: Police on Saturday arrested a self-styled godman after finding he had been raping a girl since she was a minor and impregnated her a year ago. The accused, identified as Sathya Narayanan, and his wife Pushpalatha, who allegedly abetted him, have been remanded in judicial custody.
The couple, police said, own a place of worship called ‘Shirdipuram Sarva Sakthi Peedam Sai Baba Koil’ in the city.
On April 12, 2016, a police officer said, the girl’s grandmother took her to the temple. She was 16. She was called inside a room to be given sacred ash, but Pushpalatha offered her a glass of juice. Two hours later, when she came to senses, she found herself naked and two men including Sathya Narayanan beside her in a similar state of undress.
Later, Sathya Narayanan told her the sex act had been a pooja to remove her many sins. He showed her photos of the act and warned against informing anyone. Her grandmother took her out of the city and she was married off in 2018, the officer said, adding that her husband worked abroad.
In March 2020, Sathya Narayanan managed to trace her and called her. He threatened to show her nude pictures to her husband and forced her to visit the temple where he raped her repeatedly, the officer said.
In July 2020, after finding that she was pregnant, Sathya Narayanan and his wife threatened to abort the child. The woman attempted to kill herself, but she was saved by her grandmother and she delivered a baby in January this year.
In November this year, the woman’s husband visited her and she told him what happened. A complaint was lodged at an allwomen police station in the city. A case was registered and after a thorough investigation, Sathya Narayanan and his wife were arrested on Saturday. They were booked under various sections of IPC including 328 (causing hurt by sedative), 376 (rape) and 506 (ii) (criminal intimidation) and section 5(f) (aggravated penetrative sexual assault), section 11(threatening with electronic images) and section 17 (abetment) of the Pocso Act.
Sathya Narayanan owned a YouTube channel named ‘Shirdipuram Naana Baba’ with more than 300 videos of talks and interviews and thousands of views, the officer said.