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A self-proclaimed spiritual leader from India, ‘Swami’ Anand Giri is behind bars for allegedly assaulting two women who invited him to their homes for prayers.
The 38-year-old was arrested from the western suburb of Oxley Park in Sydney early on Sunday morning and was subsequently charged with two counts of committing an act of indecency on two women on separate occasions.
The spiritual guru who on his website claims he got his "spiritual calling" at the age of 12, was due to fly overseas today after completing a spiritual teaching tour that lasted for six weeks.
But he was instead remanded in custody and denied bail in Parramatta Local Court on Sunday over concerns that “more women victims could be at risk if released," reported 7News.
In a press release, the NSW police said that on the first occasion, Mr Giri went to a house in Rooty Hill to participate in Hindu prayers on New Year’s Day in 2016 where he met a 29-year-old woman and allegedly assaulted her in a bedroom.
On another occasion, the Swami teacher went to a house also in Rooty Hill in November 2018, where he indecently assaulted a 34-year-old woman in the lounge room of a house where he had been invited for prayers, according to the police.
Both the complainants were known to the yogi, police confirmed.
Who is Swami Anand Giri?
Usually dressed in an orange robe with several strands of beads hanging around his neck ‘Swami’ Giri hails from Allahabad in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
According to his website, the primary objective of his life is to “provide life solutions to people and to be a change agent in the society”.
Described as a “spiritual leader committed to serving the society and inspiring people through his work and wisdom,” the yogi who is also known as “Maharaj Ji” amongst his followers and conducts several spiritual teaching lessons and yoga classes throughout the year in India and abroad.
According to his posts on social media, Mr Giri has also been invited as a chief guest and speaker at public functions at least one of which was conducted at a school.
He is a graduate and is currently pursuing his doctorate in Yoga Tantra, as per his website.
Mr Giri will next appear at Mount Druitt Local Court on June 26.