Thursday, 04 Jan, 7.11 am

India
Rohini sex racket case: Court deadline for godman Virender Dev to surrender ends today

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate the alleged illegal confinement of girls and women in several ashrams owned by Baba Virender Dikshit and has asked the accused 'baba' to appear before it on Thursday.

The court also directed the investigation agency to trace down the accused latest by January 4.

It indicated that warrant would be issued against 'godman' Dikshit if details about all his eight ashrams aren't submitted.

Taking note of the "seriousness and the sensitivity of the matter", a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar also asked for a list of all 8 ashrams of Dikshit to be produced as soon as possible. It also questioned the meditation being taught if the inmates are being forcibly kept in prison-like conditions.

On Wednesday, the CBI registered three cases in connection with alleged illegal confinement of girls and women, and rape at an ashram in Rohini here.

Acting on the orders of the Delhi High Court, the agency has also formed a three-member special investigation team headed by a superintendent-level officer to probe these matters.

According to the procedure, the CBI has taken over the probe into the three FIRs registered by Delhi Police at Vijay Vihar police station in Rohini by re-registering them, CBI officials said.

The two cases are against Dixit for alleged rape and criminal intimidation, while one case is against unidentified people for allegedly obstructing the work of a high court-appointed committee which went to the ashram on December 19, 2017.

The Delhi High Court had on December 20 directed the CBI to investigate the alleged illegal confinement of girls and women in the ashram where they were kept in "animal-like" conditions behind metal doors in a "fortress" surrounded by barbed wire.

The bench hearing the case had asked the CBI director to forthwith constitute a special investigation team (SIT) which will take charge of all the records and documents pertaining to the matter.

The court had asked the CBI to investigate the FIRs lodged in Delhi against the Rohini-based ashram and its founder-cum-spiritual head Dixit and the daily diary entries relating to complaints of missing girls, the commission of sexual offences and even a case of suicide there.

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