London: A 74-year-old Indian-origin man, charged with 25 offences, including rape and child cruelty,
appeared today in a UK court.
Aravindan Balakrishnan, popularly described as the "Maoist" pensioner who was arrested in Lambeth in November 2013, has been charged in the West Minster Magistrate's Court with one count of cruelty to a person under the age of 16, one count of false imprisonment, 19 counts of indecent assault and four counts of rape.
The child cruelty charge states that between January 6 1983 and January 7 1999, Balakrishnan "wilfully ill-treated, assaulted and neglected" a child in a manner "likely to cause unnecessary suffering to the child or injury to its health."
The alleged offences relate to his enslaving of three women between January 1980 and October 2013.
A 67-year old woman, understood to be Balakrishnan's wife, Chanda Pattni, was arrested with him in November 2013.
After 10 months on bail, Pattni was told that she would face no further action and was released without charge.