Crime Against Women

Six minors among over 50 female inmates rescued from ashrams in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh

Adhyatmik Vishwa Vidyalaya and its founder are under investigation for alleged sexual assault and illegal confinement of children and women at his facilities.

Six minors were among at least 50 girls and women rescued on Saturday from ashrams of Adhyatmik Vishwa Vidyalaya in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh’s Farrukhabad city. The institution and its founder Virender Dev Dixit are under investigation for alleged sexual assault and illegal confinement of children and young women at the ashrams.

The Delhi Commission for Women rescued five minors from “prison-like” confinement at the Mohan Garden ashram in southwest Delhi. The Uttar Pradesh Police rescued 47 women and one minor from two ashrams in Farrukhabad, PTI reported.

This comes two days after 41 girls were rescued from the ashram’s Rohini outlet.

Parents of three girls and an NGO had moved the Delhi High Court claiming many young women were raped at the Adhyatmik Vishwa Vidyalaya and several had committed suicide but no case was ever registered. On Wednesday, the court had asked the Central Bureau of Investigation to inspect the Rohini ashram. The court has also asked Dixit to be present before it on January 4.

On Saturday at the Mohan Garden ashram, locals told the DCW team that they “often heard the girls crying at night”, commission chairperson Swati Maliwal said on Twitter. The rescued girls, all minors, were taken to a shelter home.

Boxes found inside the ashram had letters with “explicit content” allegedly written to the female inmates by Dixit, Maliwal said.

“There were stacks of medicines and no registers were maintained to record as to where did the girls come from and for how long they have been there,” a DCW statement said, according to the Hindustan Times. “All girls gave evasive replies. It was discovered that many girls were undergoing psychological treatment and had been shifted from the Rohini ashram.”

Maliwal said that a lot of illegal activities seemed to be taking place at the ashrams. “The CBI should urgently close down these ashrams and arrest the baba. All girls need to be rescued and the CBI should also investigate the role of police and politicians in the matter.”

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