A case has been registered against self-styled godman Daati Maharaj for allegedly violating lockdown guidelines by offering prayers at Shani Dham temple in Asola area here, Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Atul Thakur said on Saturday.

According to the police, a preliminary enquiry has revealed that chief pujari Daati Maharaj, along with some others, had performed a ceremony at the temple at around 7:30 pm on Friday flouting social distancing norms issued amid the lockdown.

It had come to notice that some photographs of a ceremony at Shani Dham temple were being circulated on social media wherein the social distancing norms were not being followed and a religious congregation was organised in contravention of the lockdown guidelines, Thakur said.

Police said that Daati Maharaj and others shown in photographs were prima facie found to have committed an offence under Sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 34 (acts by several in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and relevant sections of the Disaster Management Act and Epidemic Diseases Act.

A case was registered at Maidan Garhi police station today and investigation has been taken up in the matter.

This comes as public gathering at religious places are barred across the country amid the ongoing lockdown, imposed for nearly two months to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Daati Maharaj is also accused of raping a woman devotee in Shani Dham a few years ago.

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