"I trained people on neuroplasticity resilience, it is a total connect of a brain to the body through the spinal cord through the electrical energy through the endocrinal glands that is basically the chemical energy. When all this is brought together, we get connected to ourselves. To do that, you have to physically get naked before yourself and then look at your body, get friendly with your body, then you actually get emotionally naked. You should have that courage."
This is what Sunil Kulkarni, the founder of Shifu Sunkriti, a group which has been accused of hypnotising, sexually assaulting and administering drugs to young women and luring them into promiscuous activities. For the sake of context, here's what happened.
On 18 April, the Bombay High Court ordered the Mumbai Crime Branch to investigate a case where a "group" was allegedly hypnotising, sexually assaulting and administering drugs to young women and luring them into sexual activities. On 19 April, the Crime Branch of the Mumbai Police told the high court that it would register an FIR against Kulkarni based on a complaint by a Malad couple. The couple was quoted as saying by The Times of India that their two daughters were "ensnared" by the group. A division bench of justices asked the crime branch not to take the issue "lightly" and carry out proper investigations. "The allegations and complaints by the parents are indeed very serious," said the bench.
The high court gave the directions while hearing a plea by a city couple alleging that their two daughters, aged 23 and 21, were ensnared by the cult group Shifu Sunkriti, which operated on social media, and its founder Kulkarni. Kulkarni has been booked under various IPC sections including 370 (trafficking of person), 328 (causing hurt by means of poison), 420 (cheating) and 292 (sale of obscene books), the official said.
He has also been charged under IT Act sections 67 (publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) and 67(a) (publishing or transmitting in the electronic form any material which contains sexually explicit act or conduct), he said.
The parents of the two girls claimed that they approached the police repeatedly since December last year to seek action against the cult group but in vain. According to the parents, their daughters left home early this year allegedly under the influence of Kulkarni and his group. The petition alleged that Shifu Sunkriti was a "sex and drug racket" that contacts young girls on Facebook and other social networking sites.
The petition, the report added, claimed, "Kulkarni attracts girls in the age group of 18-25 years and captures their mind to such an extent that they cannot possibly think beyond him." The court was told that the founder, Kulkarni, had a string of cases against him in Delhi, "including a case under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act of sexually assaulting a minor girl."
Justice More said: “These are serious allegations. The police is taking it lightly. How can the matter be neglected? We want immediate action. A senior official should conduct investigation.”
Police arrested Kulkarni on 20 April in connection with alleged human trafficking and obscenity on social media. Kulkarni was arrested by Malad police on Thursday. He will be produced in a court later in the day, a senior official of the Mumbai Crime Branch told PTI.
In an interview with Mumbai Mirror, Kulkarni said that Shifu Sunkriti is not an organisation, "it is my mystic name. Shifu means master, Sunkriti means Sun (reason) + Prakriti." Kulkarni's LinkedIn profile says that he is a psychiatrist and a clinical psychologist. However, Kulkarni claimed that he has been giving lectures on management in all education institutes from Mithibai College to IIM Ahmedabad and IIT Kharagpur. "I don’t prescribe any medicine to anybody. I just show them the path."
When asked about the petition in Bombay High Court, Kulkarni cried innocence and said that it was not him, but the parents who should be investigated. "They have an abusive relationship and they followed their children everywhere they went. A domestic violence case should have been filed against them. I am just trying to help the two adult girls, who are trying to live an independent life. How is that a crime?"
With inputs from agencies
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