Himaval, a self-styled astrologer and influential power-broker who claims to be close to top State politicians, had been arrested and let off on bail by Kochi police only yesterday on charges of tresspassing into a newspaper office and threatening journalists. Aluva Rural SP M Padmanabhan told UNI that Himaval, who was injured in the hand, had been taken to the Aluva Taluk Hospital for treatment. He will be arrested and charged with attempt to murder and attempt to commit suicide.
In today's drama, which started at around 0830 hrs, Himaval reportedly called up the reporter of a local television channel and threatened to commit suicide, as his reputation had been ''tarnished'' by the media and the police.
Police, on being alerted by the reporter, rushed to Himaval's rented house at Aluva, where he stays with his mother, and found him sitting with a loaded pistol pointing at his temple and his finger on the trigger.
He was brought to the Aluva Circle Inspector's office where he continued to rant against those ''maligning'' him, with the pistol at his temple.
As the police was trying to push out reporters and television camerapersons from the scene, Himaval jumped into the melee and fired two shots, injuring himself and Aluva CI Babu Kumar.
Some journalists also fell down in the scuffle.
Himaval, also known as 'Ernakulam Swami' is regarded as an influential power-broker and ''fixer''. Local Malayalam daily 'Mangalam', which is running a series on 'Sham Swamis', had featured him in one of its articles recently, provoking him to barge into the newspaper office on May 13 and threatening its chief reporter and news editor.
Police had last morning arrested him on charges of tresspass and threatening and later let him off on bail.
Another high profile 'godman' Swami Amritachaitanya alias Santosh Madhavan had been arrested by the State Police on May 13 on charges of rape of minor girls, making of pornographic films and cheating a Dubai-based Keralite businesswoman Serafin Edwin of Rs 40 lakh.