The Gangammanagudi police of Bengaluru have arrested a 41-year-old man for sexually abusing and duping a woman who wanted to learn astrology from him. Dinesh alias Anand Kumar is a resident of Abbigere Layout and he is a known numerologist in the area.

“The 28-year-old woman, a resident of Yeshwantpur, came in contact with Dinesh in April 2017 as he would appear regularly on a private news channel. He also offered to teach astrology. Believing him, the woman managed his personal number and contacted him. A married Dinesh sexually assaulted her repeatedly and threatened that he would kill her if she revealed it to his wife or anyone else,” said a police officer, TNIE reported.

He added, “Meanwhile, he forced her to bring Rs. 50 lakh as he had a financial crisis and promised that he would refund it within a few weeks. When she asked him to repay the money, he started avoiding her. She also came to know that he had sexually exploited other women on the pretext of teaching astrology. Based on a complaint, police arrested Dinesh and handed over to judicial custody after medical examination.”

While investigating the case, police found that Dinesh assured the woman to teach her advanced astrology only if she performed sexual favours in return. Initially, the woman agreed since Dinesh had promised to make her an expert in three months. But he only assaulted her sexually, police said.

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“If any other victims approach the police, we will file a complaint to take further action against Dinesh,” a police officer said.

Earlier in March, a similar case of an astrologer accused of rape and sexual misconduct was reported from Tamil Nadu. A father had claimed that a 35-year-old astrologer named Panneerselvam, resident of the village of KR Thoppur in Salem had sexually assaulted his daughter under the pretence of removing her ‘dosham’ (sins.)

Media had reported that the astrologer allegedly took the woman to the pooja room on the top floor of his home and then raped her. He returned with her after half an hour and told her parents that they should bring her against after 10 days.

Meanwhile, he forced her to bring Rs. 50 lakh as he had a financial crisis and promised that he would refund it within a few weeks. When she asked him to repay the money, he started avoiding her. She also came to know that he had sexually exploited other women on the pretext of teaching astrology.

Police had restrained from acting on the case but then after outrage from women’ group, they have filed an FIR against him under IPC sections 294 and 503 on March 21 for sexual assault and criminal intimidation.

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