Mentally ill man projected as ‘Vibhuti Siddhar’ by gang rescued in Karur

Sources said that a senior citizen with mental illness was seen roaming near Malaikovilur at Aravakurichi in Karur for the past 10 years.
Mentally ill man being taken to the Karur Medical College Hospital on Friday
Mentally ill man being taken to the Karur Medical College Hospital on Friday

TIRUCHY: Karur district administration on Friday rescued a 67-year-old mentally ill person, who was being projected as ‘Vibhuthi Siddhar by a group of persons for collecting money from the public.

Sources said that a senior citizen with mental illness was seen roaming near Malaikovilur at Aravakurichi in Karur for the past 10 years. On seeing him wandering along the national highway, a few social activists set up a makeshift shelter for him and were providing food. The man was also living in that shelter for a few years.

Two months ago, a few persons took him to a government poramboke land near Nagampalli Branch Road and put up a shed for him to live. After a few days, a gang, which found him living alone, after reportedly applying a thick coat of vibhuti and named him Arali Siddhar/Vibhuti Siddhar started collecting money from the public.

The gang told devotees that the ‘Siddhar’ never talks as he is on a ‘mauna viratham’ and thus the people started to believe and gave offerings.

However, the social activists, who rescued him from the highway, saw him recently and were amused by the way, the gang was abusing/exploiting him. The activists also lodged a complaint with the district administration and the police.

On Friday, acting on the complaint, a team of officials, led by DRO Kavitha, Joint Secretary (Health) Sathosh Kumar went to the spot and checked the condition of the senior citizen. The officials after confirming that he was mentally unstable, rescued and sent him to the Karur GH by 108 ambulance.

During initial investigations, police identified the man as Subramanian of Karur. Further investigations are on.

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