Lalan Singh wanted the miseries in his life to vanish and so took an impulsive decision to spend Rs 21,365 to “see” Lord Hanuman, the God he worshipped ardently. However, only when he opened his eyes and couldn’t spot Lord Hanuman standing in front of him, as promised to him by a “baba”, did he realise that he had been conned. Singh had been duped by the “Meetha Thug” gang which has cheated gullible believers like him with promises of showing them the real “God” in exchange for money.
“I have never visited any ‘baba’ ever before, how would I know which one of them is genuine? I had never thought this could happen to me. The baba was so convincing, almost as if he really understood me. In a span of hardly 45-50 minutes, they had gained enough faith for me to specially withdraw Rs 20,000 from the nearest ATM and hand it over to them. I thought if I could only see my God in reality and ask him to bless me,” Singh said.
Busted by the Delhi Police last week after a tip-off, Nadir Hussain (50) and Abdul Rahman (24) were identified as the main accused of the “Meetha Thug” gang. The gang was named as “Meetha Thug” because of their “sweet manner of speaking that seemed so original and trustworthy that victims never doubted their intentions”, explained the police.
“I was on my way to work when the accomplice stopped me on the road to ask about some address that I had no clue about. When I told him so, he started acting like a lonely helpless person and said that everyone in this big city was so rude and mean. I felt pity for him and decided to help him out. That is when another person joined us and said that he would like to help us too. I only got to know later that this other man, too, was part of their team,” Singh said. Together, the two men convinced Singh to meet a “chamatkari baba” who was on a special visit to Delhi from Ayodhya.
“The ‘baba’ seemed so convincing. He did some tricks and answered some questions about the two men that they said were absolutely right. I had no idea that all three of them were in this together. The “baba” told me that my home is under the influence of ‘black magic’ that is affecting my family members. I believed him when he said that Hanumanji can solve all my problems if I’ll see him in real,” Singh said. “After taking the money, the ‘baba’ told me to walk 104 steps, open my fists and turn back to see Hanumanji there. When I opened my eyes, there was neither Hanumanji nor those three men,” said Singh, a graduate from Bihar who has been living in Delhi for the past 15 years.
A senior officer at Lahori Gate Police station said, “Such kinds of cases are common in this area. There are people here who believe in superstition and it is very easy to cheat them.”
“My wife’s health had worsened over the past few years. She hardly ever talks or reacts now and doesn’t even look after herself. Everybody said that she is under the influence of some evil spirits. So when the ‘baba’ said that there are signs of black magic in my home, I was shocked and instantly believed him and did what he asked for,” Singh said. Police said that the accused told them that they didn’t believe in any God or religion. The accused wanted to take advantage of people’s sufferings, police said, adding efforts are on to track other members of the gang. They exploited people’s blind faith in the supernatural. They operated at major tourist destinations like Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Taj Mahal and Ajmer as these places are frequented by tourists who hardly ever return.