Kalaburagi: Deval Ganagapura Police filed an FIR naming 5 priests as accused, slapping charges of opening a fake website of a popular temple and diverting donations of crores of devotees.
The priests — identified as Vallabha son of Dinakara Bhat Poojary, Ankur son of Anandarawa Poojary, Pratik son of Sadashiva Poojary, Gangadhar son of Srikanta Bhat Poojary, and Sharath Bhat son of Nandubhatta — have been booked.
The accused created a fake website through which they asked for donations from the devotees. Crores of rupees have been embezzled from the devotees under the guise of donations. This illegal website was created under the name Shri Dattatreya temple.
It is said that the priests made the devotees pay Rs 10,000- 50,000 online for a ‘Puja’ in the temple which otherwise costs less than Rs 1,000.
The scam came to light when Yashwant Gurukar, President of the Dattatreya temple development committee visited the temple to check the official website of the temple. Gurukar found that there were around 6-7 fake websites of the temples that were run by the priests.
It was then revealed that around Rs 20 crore was collected by the priests in the span of 6 years using the websites, which have now been deleted.