Gold dreamer seer lands in trouble, faces superstition charges

A seer in Uttar Pradesh whose dream of a gold treasure beneath a ruined fort prompted the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to take up excavation in Unnao district may have landed himself in trouble, as two cases of spreading superstition have been filed against him. 

Kamalesh Tripathi, a lawyer in Varanasi town, has moved the district court contending that the seer Shobhan Sarkar had been promoting religious superstition and insulting religious beliefs.

The petition, which was moved in the additional chief judicial magistrate's court, charged the seer with violating Section 295 A (Deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) and Section 298 (uttering words with deliberate intent to wound religious feelings). 

Tripathi said the seer must be punished for spreading incorrect information in the name of religion. If found guilty, Sarkar may face imprisonment for three years, or fine, or both.

A similar petition was filed against Sarkar in a district court in the state capital. Sarkar, who has considerable following in the area surrounding the state capital and Kanpur and has several ashrams, claimed to have dreamt seeing a hidden treasure of gold beneath the fort of Raja Ram Bux Singh, who once ruled the fort.

The seer apprised the government officials about the dream and persuaded the officials to get the site dug by the ASI. Despite digging for nearly a week, the ASI is yet to come across the treasure. 

Though the seer and his followers are hopeful that gold will be found eventually, experts remain sceptical.

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