Police disrupt ‘psychic healing’ event in TulsipurThe event was organised by alleged conman Bharat Bhattarai aka Simanta KC, who identifies himself as astrologer and claims to possess magical powers to cure serious diseases.
Police in Dang on Sunday disrupted an event organised by a self-proclaimed psychic healer Bharat Bhattarai. Bhattarai, who is from Lami in Pathari Shanishchare Municipality-7 of Morang district, became viral on social media for his purported ability to cure serious illnesses. Bhattarai identifies himself as astrologer Simanta KC.
According to police, Deputy Superintendent of Police Rajan Kumar Gautam, chief of the District Police Office, the police stepped in to stop the event since the organisers had not obtained permission from the authorities for such an event.
On Sunday, more than 300 people had gathered at the Trisiddheshwari Temple in Tulsipur Sub Metropolitan City for the event.
“People had gathered in large numbers, lured by Bhattarai’s promise to cure them by simply touching them or looking at them,” said Gautam. “He was spreading misinformation in the name of curing people.”
“The organisers had allegedly been deceiving people by telling them that Bhattarai can cure their ailments by simply touching their hands, face, or other body parts,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police Pushparaj Malla, who is also the chief of the Tulsipur Area Police Office.
According to Malla, people had come from Salyan, Rolpa and Banke districts to attend the event. Some of the attendees had arrived in Tulsipur on Saturday and had been staying in hotels.
“Scores of people bought the lie because they were desperate for a cure,” said Malla.
Locals from Bhattarai’s native village Lami, say he has a history of defrauding people under various pretexts. “Bhattarai had previously served more than a year in jail after being charged with duping people under the pretext of sending them abroad on foreign employment,” said Khem Ale Magar, a local man.
The locals say that Bhattarai’s father is also a shaman. But he is not in the best of health. Since May 10, when Bhattarai’s video where he claims to be ‘Simanta baba’ went viral on TikTok, his parents have locked up their home and gone elsewhere.
After the police disrupted the Tulsipur event on Sunday, Bhattarai left for Nepalgunj, according to Gautam.
In March, Bhattarai travelled to Pokhara where he organised a ‘health camp’ on March 6 at a resort in Powerhouse in Pokhara-17. In Pokhara, the local administration had also deployed two policemen for Bhattarai’s safety.
Bhattarai’s Pokhara visit was arranged by Bharat KC, a member of the Pokhara Commerce and Industry Committee.
The health camp, scheduled to run for three days, was disrupted after Bhattarai and KC were arrested on March 7 by a joint team from the District Administration Office, District Police Office, and District Health Office. The team conducted a search of the camp and confiscated Rs123,000 from Bhattarai.
The search was carried out after a police case was filed against Bhattarai for illegally running the camp, said Assistant Chief of the District Office Gurudutta Dhakal. “They were collecting money from the visitors without issuing any receipts or maintaining financial records. They had charged Rs100 per head from 123 people,” Dhakal said.
Binod Bhandari in Biratnagar and Deepak Pariyar in Pokhara contributed reporting.