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HomeEditorialArrests of Bhaiyyuji's close aides leave many questions behind!

Arrests of Bhaiyyuji’s close aides leave many questions behind!

Bhaiyyuji Maharaj was born as Uday Singh Deshmukh in a family of landowner agriculturists and worked in the past as a professional model. He tried his hand on glamour to the God’s world. However, one fine day, he shot himself and people made many stories about his death. They called him with names because he got married for the second time. Some media houses even wrote that his second wife and his daughter from the first wife had frequent fights, Maharaj was under stress due to internal conflicts and that led him to commit suicide. His first wife died in 2015 and they have a daughter. In 2017, he married Ayushi Sharma; they also have an eight-month-old daughter named Dhara.

Bhaiyyuji was very close to his aides Vinayak Dudhade and Sharad Deshmukh. Vinayak earned his respect by serving Bhaiyyuji’s parents. In Maharaj’s absence, Vinayak was the one who used to take care of his parents at home. He used to look after many things on personal and professional fronts. Ayushi and Palak were the two girls, back then, working in his Ashram on different portfolios. After Bhaiyyuji’s first wife’s death, he first declared that he is going to take Sanyasa from family life, and on one fine morning, he decided to marry his aide Ayushi. With this news, his other aides got disturbed because Palak Puranik was recruited in ashram through Vinayak and Bhaiyyuji’s so-called closeness was misunderstood as an affair. Vinayak and Sharad Deshmukh wanted Palak to be Bhaiyyuji’s wife so that they can control everything through her. But in the meantime, Bhaiyyuji chose Ayushi as his wife and that has gone into the nerves of his aides. There began the vendetta, Bhaiyyuji was under medication for stress and depression after his father and first wife’s death, Maharaj was given overdose of medicines to keep him dozed off always. Even in such a situation when he managed to marry a woman of his choice, the blackmailing started.

Palak Puranik, 25, was threatening Bhaiyyuji by putting pressure on him to marry her. Some disciple has claimed that Maharaj was double dating the girls while one of them made some sex videos to use it to her advantage; some say that the videos are morphed. There are many theories about those videos but those videos were the reason behind the suicide. Police have arrested three people on the charges of abetting to suicide and for “secretly” giving Maharaj “high doses of medicines” to “control” him. Palak Puranik was Maharaj’s personal secretary while, Vinayak Dudhade (42) and Sharad Deshmukh (34), were personal aides and all three were arrested. This entire episode got exposed with one ransom call. Those calls gave a new direction to the investigations in the Bhaiyyuji Maharaj’s suicide case. During the investigation, a lawyer associated with Bhaiyyuji Maharaj’s trust received a ransom call of Rs 5 crore. Police started monitoring the number. Within a few days, the phone number led them to the driver of Bhaiyyuji Maharaj. The information he provided was totally different from the ongoing investigation in the suicide case. The driver revealed that days after Bhaiyyuji’s suicide, there was a clash between his family members and volunteers of his trust.

On the basis of the driver’s statement, the Indore Police questioned 125 people from different places and registered official statements of 28 people. Based on those statements and digital evidence (phone call records and old chats), police arrested Vinayak, Sharad, and Palak. Palak threatened Bhaiyyuji Maharaj of slapping police cases against him if he refused to obey her. Palak had some screenshot of some objectionable chats, which she used to blackmail Bhaiyyuji. Being personal secretary, the phones of Bhaiyyuji Maharaj were always with Vinayak and Palak, there is a possibility that these chats are exchanged with an intention to blackmail Godman. If the chats were not by Bhaiyyuji Maharaj, then why such strong man had to get blackmailed by his aide, he could have asked the police to take action against them. In April 2018, he was offered Minister of State (MoS) post by the BJP-led Madhya Pradesh government along with four more spiritual leaders after being inducted as members of a committee set up for the conservation of the Narmada River. However, Bhaiyyuji declined the offer and stated that he has no inclination towards any particular party or community. Palak is not the only girl who alleged Bhaiyyuji Maharaj of having illicit relations. Maharaj came in controversy time and again and this time it went beyond his control. Vinayak is the same guy that Bhaiyyuji had mentioned about in his suicide note that he wanted him to be the caretaker of his property.

Palak joined the ashram as a disciple and Maharaj’s right-hand man Vinayak Dhule and driver Sharad Deshmukh were instrumental in her closeness with Maharaj. Soon after Palak joined the ashram as a disciple, she had grown close to the spiritual leader. The chats between Maharaj and the woman suggest some planning and presumably, it could be regarding marriage. However, the knotty case turned even murkier as the family and sevadars levelled allegations against each other.

Maharaj, who had celebrities including noted politicians among his followers, addressed as ‘Rashtrasant’, Uday Singh Deshmukh aka Bhaiyyuji Maharaj, was a native of Shujalpur in MP. He was famous for his luxurious lifestyle marked by branded watches, posh cars, and a plush residence. Besides his sprawling ashram, he ran various educational institutions and was involved in social endeavours in Maharashtra and MP. His death created ripples in every spare of his life, the Congress party then demanded a CBI probe into his death. Finally, the police reached to some conclusion but still, this investigation leaves many questions and that can be answered by only Bhaiyyuji Maharaj.

(Any suggestions, comments or dispute with regards to this article send us on [email protected])
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Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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