MUMBAI: A 56-year-old self-styled godwoman was Friday arrested for allegedly duping a woman and her family of Rs 12.75 lakh here, police said.
The accused woman was identified as Kiran Daruwala alias Guruma, an official said, adding that she was arrested by N M Joshi Marg Police in central Mumbai.
"The incident came to light when the victim approached the police with a complaint of cheating and molestation," an official said.
The 34-year-old complainant, a resident of Khar in western suburbs, told the police that she came in contact with Guruma, who later visited her house in November 2016, he said.
The accused told the complainant that she had divine powers through which she could speak to Saibaba of Shirdi and help solve her family and employment-related problems.
"The victim's in-laws were suffering from some ailments.
On the pretext of curing them through her divine powers, she demanded money from the victim," he said.
The godwoman used to tell the complainant that she was suffering due to her and her husband's sins from the previous birth.
She also told the complainant that if she wants her miseries to end, she has to perform a 'puja', to which the victim agreed, the official said.
"While performing the rituals, Guruma molested the victim," he said, adding that from time to time, she kept demanding money from the victim on the pretext of curing her ills.
She took at least Rs 12.75 lakh from the victim till the complaint was filed.
Finally the victim realised that she was being duped by Guruma and she lodged a complaint, he said.
Based on the complaint, the police registered an offence against the accused under IPC sections 420 (cheating), 406 (criminal breach of trust), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and relevant sections of Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Act, 2013, the police official said.
During the probe, it came to light that the accused woman was indulging in these kind of activities since the last 12 years, he said.
The accused woman was produced before court, which remanded her in police custody till July 25.