Priest attempts to sexually assault woman, arrested

The police have arrested a 38-year-old astrologer, who along with his associate for allegedly attempting to sexually assault a 32-year-old woman on the pretext of performing a special puja, to ward off evil spirits that ruined her chances of marriage.

The accused Manikanta, a resident of Banaswadi, was arrested on Wednesday following a complaint by the victim, who was separated from her husband.

In her complaint, the victim stated that the accused Manikanta and his associate Ganeshachari (65) claimed to be astrologers and approached the victim convincing her that they would perform special pujas since she has ‘Sarpadhosha’.

The family of the victim was worried after their daughter was deserted by her husband,  following which they approached the astrologers to seek divine intervention. Manikanta came to her home along with Ganeshachari and went through her horoscope. They then offered to help her with a special puja at the Kukke Subramanya temple at the cost of Rs 40,000.

The accused on Saturday took the victim and her parents to Kukke Subramanya and performed some puja before taking the victim to a separate room on the pretext of counselling.

Ganeshachari advised her that she should marry him five times as part of the ritual and showed her objectionable videos in an attempt to assault her sexually. The accused also advised her not to reveal this to anyone and returned to the city.

However, the victim realised that she has been cheated, and narrated the ordeal to her family before approaching the police on Tuesday.

Based on her complaint, the police arrested Manikanta and are on the hunt for Ganeshachari who managed to escape.

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