The Economic Offence Wing of Delhi Police has lodged an FIR against a family that proclaimed themselves to be the messenger of a popular spiritual leader known as Guruji and defrauded several people of crores of rupees.
One of the victims is a senior citizen, 60-year-old Gurpreet Kaur Rai, a resident of Dwarka in Delhi, on whose complaint the police initiated the investigation and found that many others have been duped in an almost similar fashion.
Guruji, whose samadhi is famous as 'Bade Mandir' in Chhattarpur, has a strong base of followers in Delhi and Punjab and thousands of people gather for regular Satsangs (gathering) in his honour.
It was during one of these gatherings that three members of the Wadhwa family - Manu Wadhwa, Naveen Wadhwa and Rozy Wadhwa – met Rai’s family and gained their confidence.
A follower of Guruji, Rai’s family had been visiting Bade Mandir for a very long and in 2017 they met the Wadhwa family who invited them to their residence in Rajouri Garden for Satsang.
During those days, Rai was worried about her son’s job and what impressed her was that the Wadhwa family was aware of her problem and offered to help her son get a job too.
In the FIR, Rai says that when she was sitting in the Satsang, Manu Wadhwa came to meet her and said that he knew what her problem was. He said that he was sent by Guruji to help people and get them out of their problems. He promised to get her son a job in Dubai.
His manners and polite words gained the confidence of the Rai family and she started trusting him. In the FIR, she says that she thought that the Almighty had really sent someone to help her son find a job. She even treated him as a true messenger of God.
She became a regular attendee of the Satsang at Wadhwa’s residence with her husband, two daughters and a son. In one of the gatherings, Wadhwa convinced Rai to make some investment that would give her a huge return and that no other job would earn so much money for her family.
According to the police report, the Wadhwa family pretended to be so religious that it was really difficult to doubt their fraudulent intent. They repeatedly asked the Rai family to trust them and prove it by making some investment in the name of Guruji.
Rai started with Rs 24 lakh as her first investment in September 2017 and kept on arranging money till late 2020 as and when the Wadhwa family demanded it.
Manu Wadhwa allegedly even used his mother’s death as an opportunity to get emotionally close to people and win their trust. In a Satsang, he called Rai on the stage and said that since his own mother had passed away, he wanted Rai to accept him as her son in front of a lot of devotees of Guruji.
Rai further said in her police complaint that she was emotionally overwhelmed and she didn’t have an iota of doubt about their intent. Manu even started getting a Rakhi tied from her daughters.
Rai sold her properties, borrowed money from others and even took loans from banks in her daughters’ name but kept on investing money in the Wadhwa family who used to pay back some amount as interest against the investment so that Rai would keep her faith with them. According to her, she has paid 5.65 crores to date.
Once when she demanded money for her daughter’s marriage, the Wadhwa family told her not to waste money in such functions as these are wasteful expenditures. They were once again able to convince Rai not to withdraw the principal amount.
However, in late 2020, when she was under pressure from the banks and friends to repay their loan amount, she started demanding the principal amount to be returned to her. She realised that they tried to avoid her by making one excuse or the other. They even stopped paying her the interest eventually.
Soon after that Rai realised she had fallen victim to fraud and lodged a complaint with the Delhi Police.
After Rai's complaint, the EoW learnt that the Wadhwa family had defrauded many more people in the same Satsang. The attendees were never allowed to talk to each other or exchange their contact numbers, making it easier for them to maintain the scam.
Outlook contacted Rai for her comment but she refused to talk about it.