A conman masquerading as a sadhu was arrested in Rishikesh for allegedly duping a jeweller’s wife of cash and jewellery worth around Rs 1.75 crore, police said on Monday.
Mahendra Rode alias Yogi Priyavrat Animesh was arrested from Cottage no 21 of Nature Villa in Lal Tappar area late on Sunday night, Rishikesh DSP Dinesh Chandra Dhaundiyal said.
Gold and silver jewellery worth nearly Rs 10 lakh were also recovered from his possession, he said.
The conman had recently got his book titled ”Manas Moti” released by Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, police said.
He is being interrogated after being taken on a 14-day judicial remand, they said.
The arrest was made after a case was registered against him based on a complaint filed by a well-known jeweller of Rishikesh, Hitendra Panwar, who accused Animesh of duping his wife of cash and jewellery worth approximately Rs 1.75 crore, the DSP said.
According to the complaint, the jeweller’s wife was mentally unstable and fell into the imposter’s trap as she needed treatment.
The high-profile cheat was in the habit of getting himself photographed with influential people including politicians and posting the pictures on Facebook to flaunt his contacts. Moving around in the garb of a sadhu he used to look for soft targets and cheat them of their money, police said.
Several cases are lodged against Yogi Priyavrat Animesh at Karnal in Haryana. He was sent to jail twice in the past in connection with different cases, the official said.
Efforts are underway to recover the looted cash and jewellery from him, the DSP said.