- Kushmuni Baba sends legal notice to Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad
- Which released list of 14 "fake babas"; Kushmuni Baba on the list
- Asaram Bapu, Ram Rahim also feature in the list along with Radhe Maa
Kushmuni Baba shares place on this list with Asaram Bapu and Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh of the Dera Sacha Sauda sect, both currently in jail on rape charges and Radhe Maa or Sukhwinder Kaur who is known for favouring bridal clothes, unconventional preaching methods and has been accused in the past of sexual exploitation and dowry harassment, charges that were not proved.
The legal notice accuses the parishad of "character assassination" and says if Kushmuni Baba does not get an adequate reply, he will go to court.
Another so-called godman on the list, Icchadhari, is in jail for allegedly running a sex racket from his Delhi ashram; he originally belongs to UP's Chitrakoot. Then there is Sacchdanand Giri, once Sachin Datta a former beer bar owner and real estate baron, who was anointed a "Mahamandaleshwar" - a title used by some Hindu monks of the Dashanami order of renunciates (swamis) founded by Shankaracharya - in July 2015 in Allahabad by the same body that has now declared him "fake."
The Parishad said they will bring out yet another list of fake babas in a few months to keep pressure up on those who have 'discredited their faith." It has appealed to people to boycott those named on its list, some of who have lakhs of devotees.
The release of the list came days after Gurmeet Singh was sentenced to 20 years in prison in two rape cases. Thousands of his followers went on the rampage in the peaceful, small town of Panchkula in Haryana, where he was convicted by a trial court. They clashed with the police and set fire to vehicles and public property in not just Haryana but also neighbouring states including Punjab and Delhi.
In western UP's Bareilly town, Mahant Malkhan Giri, associated with a temple with overflowing coffers and whose predecessor was murdered in a mysterious manner a decade ago, says that the list is a conspiracy and that he will complain to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. "There are many types of sadhus....I am only involved in God and have been for 17 years. Some people with wrong intentions have entered our akharas. I will meet Yogiji and tell him the truth," he said.