Serial rapes at MP ashram; warrant against Sadhvi

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Jabalpur, Nov 13 (UNI) A local court has issued an arrest warrant against the chief trustee, of a self-styled godman's trust at this district's Majhouli, in cases including concealing the evidence of a priest raping minor students residing at a school's ashram.

Judicial Magistrate Sunil Jain issued the warrant under sections 176, 201 and 109 of the Indian Penal Code against Sadhvi Vibhanand of Swami Pragyanand's Sai Pragyadham Trust, who allegedly raped girls of the Pragya Gurukul Kanya School.

''When a 13-year-old's health severely deteriorated last month, an ashram employee secretly abandoned her at her paternal uncle's residence. The (Jain community) girl was later hospitalised in critical condition. In a statement made to police and the sub-divisional officer, the victim alleged that an ashram priest raped her about half-a-dozen times,'' Superintendent of Police Makrand Deuskar said here today.

The statement also alleged that the priest similarly targetted four other minors but no action was taken when the matter was brought to the notice of the School Director Vibhanand.

Protest demonstrations by Jains and certain other organisations led the Collector Sanjay Dubey ordering a magisterial inquiry. A report was submitted yesterday, which brought the priest behind bars.

Vibhanand is absconding and earlier denied any immoral act at the ashram.


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