“Sunil Kulkarni…who?” was the response of a Nagpur-based cop when asked about the man who heads Shifu Sunkriti, as news broke that the cult stood accused of being a drug and sex ring that preys on young women.
This is not surprising as even days after Kulkarni’s arrest, little is known about the innocuous-looking man who claimed to have a doctorate in psychology from an institute in Nagpur. His name is not on its records or those of the local branch of the Indian Medical Association.
Nagpur appears key to unravelling the web of lies that surround 54-year-old Kulkarni who claims to hail from the place. His Twitter profile shows him against the background of a large photograph of Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who is from Nagpur. On social media platforms, Kulkarni projected himself as “a medical psychiatrist, clinical & organisational psychologist, corporate, motivational & positive health trainer”.