15 women rescued, cops seal Salt Lake ashram

The Times of India/February 18, 2018

By Suman Chakraborti and Dwaipayan Ghosh

Kolkata -- Days after reports of the sexual escapades of self proclaimed spiritual guru Virendra Dev Dixit rocked the country — he allegedly confined hundreds of girls, drugged and raped them for years at his Delhi and UP Ashrams — the Bidhannagar East police station 

authorities conducted a raid at his Adhyatmik Ishiwarya Vishwavidyala ashram at Salt Lake’s CL 249 on Saturday.

Fifteen women aged between 25 and 60 were rescued from the house, and a woman and two men were detained for questioning. The families of the rescued women are being contacted and based on their response, the women would either be sent to home or taken to a protection house.

Several girls have allegedly been sent from here to Dixit’s UP ashram and were raped before being further trafficked to his Delhi ashram or returned to Kolkata, according tothe police. Dixit had visited the Salt Lake ashram last year.

“We had been receiving several complaints against this ashram. We lodged two complaints against him under IPC sections pertaining to rape, threat, wrongful confinement and exploitation of a trafficked person. One complaint alleged that a girl who was sent here was brainwashed and sent to another state where she was forced to have a physical relationship with Dixit before she was asked to return to Salt Lake. The other alleged how another girl had been missing from this ashram for the past two years. We sought permission from a Bidhannagar court, got a search warrant and raided the ashram. We are going through the documents to ascertain the exact modus operandi,” said DC (DD Bidhannagar) S Rajkumar.

According to one of the FIRs lodged at the Bidhannagar East police station, a petition filed by a woman from Contai in East Midnapore some time back claimed that in 1984, Prajapita Brahmakumari Ishwarya Adhyatmik Vishwavidyalaya had opened up a branch there, which the petitioner joined. In 1992-93, she joined another institute calledAdhyatmik Ishiwarya Viswavidyalaya at CL 249, where thefounder of the institute allegedly forcefully co-habited with her. The complaint mentions that many poor women became victims of merciless torture in thesame manner at the institute under the name of spiritual education. The petitioner did notdisclose it to her parents and returned home in 2004.

During an inquiry, it was presumed that the founder of the institute had deputed two ladiesunder his guidance and had occupied the premises at CL 249 owned by another person where illegal activities had been committed by the ashram founder whenever he visited.

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