In a reminder of a scene from the 1990 Bollywood movie ‘Dil’, of people chasing a man for distributing coupon (amusement) currency to beggars sitting outside a temple, some priests in Uttar Pradesh’s Sitapur district were recently paid in coupon notes after performing prayers.
Police said a woman distributed amusement currency notes or coupon notes to 40 priests, who she had invited to conduct 11-day long rituals in Sitapur’s Terwa Manikpur village. The priests have lodged an FIR of fraud and criminal breach of trust against the woman identified as Geeta Pathak, wife of GR Pathak, at Rampur Mathura police station.
Inspector general (IG) of police, Lucknow range, Laxmi Singh said the woman had been taken into custody and quizzed about the incident. A large number of similar coupon notes, with Manoranjan Bank of India mentioned on them, were recovered from her vehicle.
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“As per the complaint of a priest Dilip Kumar Pathak of Bahraich, the woman hired him to conduct 11- day rituals in her village, promising him ₹9 lakh for all arrangements. After the rituals were completed, the woman handed Pathak and 39 other priests, who participated in the event, a bag allegedly containing currency notes as a gift. But when they checked later, they found that the notes placed on the top were real currency notes while the remaining were amusement notes of face value ₹5.53 lakh,” Singh said, adding, “These coupons were in the denominations of 2000, 500, 100 and 10”.