Over 60 Hindu women were subjected to repeated atrocities, including sexual harassment, at a yoga centre near Kochi for marrying men from other religions, a petition filed in the Kerala High Court alleged on Monday. The police have filed a case against five people, including the director of the centre.
The yoga centre was served a closure notice by a local panchayat on Monday. The police also arrested one person, while four others are absconding.
The petition was filed by a 28-year-old woman who claimed that she was detained for 22 days at the centre and “physically and mentally harassed” to pressure her to abandon her Christian husband, The Times of India reported. The woman raised the allegations after escaping from the yoga centre.
She also said her family had asked her to go for counselling at the yoga centre after she married and lived with her husband for close to 10 months.
“We were forced to sleep on the floor of dormitories and the doors of bathrooms did not have locks,” her affidavit read. “There were [others] who had [been] confined for years...Most of the inmates were ill all around but no treatment was given.”
The petition stated that atrocities were being meted out to women in the counselling sessions to bring them “back to Hinduism”, and the centre also had a torture room, KK Raihanath, state president of Women India Movement, said.