5 More Girls, Kept In 'Prison-Like' Conditions, Rescued From Delhi Ashram

The latest raid on Saturday at the Adhyatmik Vishwa Vidyalaya in Dwarka's Mohan Garden takes the number of girls rescued from self-styled godman Virendra Dev Dikshit's Rohini and Dwarka ashrams to over 45

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5 More Girls, Kept In 'Prison-Like' Conditions, Rescued From Delhi Ashram

About 40 girls were rescued from an ashram in Rohini on Wednesday.

New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. The latest raid took place at Adhyatmik Vishwa Vidyalaya's Dwarka ashram
  2. Locals said they have often heard the cries of girls at night
  3. Huge stock of medicines was recovered in the raid
Days after more than 40 girls were shifted by the police from an ashram in north Delhi's Rohini to a shelter home, five more minor girls have been rescued during raids at the so-called spiritual institution's Dwarka ashram. The girls were kept in "prison-like" confinement by the absconding 'baba', the team discovered. The latest raid on Saturday at the Adhyatmik Vishwa Vidyalaya in Dwarka's Mohan Garden takes the number of girls rescued from self-styled godman Virendra Dev Dikshit's Rohini and Dwarka ashrams to over 45.

"Just rescued five more girls identified as minors by the CWC (Child Welfare Committee) from Baba's ashram at Mohan Garden. Same prison like situation here," Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal tweeted.

"Locals said they often heard the cries of girls at night and informed that many girls were removed on Friday morning before our visit," she added.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has, on Twitter, requested Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal to order action against the ashram.
 
According to Ms Maliwal, the girls were kept behind locked doors. The team recovered huge stock of medicines and there was no record of where the girls came from and for how long have they been staying at the ashram. The rescued girls have been taken to a shelter home.

"It was also discovered that many girls were undergoing psychological treatment and had been shifted from Vijay Vihar ashram. It appeared that psychologically ill girls from Vijay Vihar ashram were often shifted here," she said.

It seems a lot of illegal activities take place at these ashrams, Ms Maliwal added. "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," she said.

An NGO had alleged that several minor girls and women were allegedly kept at the Rohini ashram which is surrounded by barbed wire. They were not allowed to meet even their parents, it added.

The Delhi High Court then formed a committee, comprising lawyers and Delhi Commission for Women, to inspect the ashram's premises. The panel's report describes the "horrible" living conditions of the women who were housed in "animal-like conditions with no privacy even for bathing".

The ashram was inquired about its financial details and its source of funds. Earlier this week, the high court also ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation to investigate saying that it had "no confidence in police" after they failed to take act on about 10 FIRs filed against the ashram and its members. The CBI was directed to gather all records in connection with complaints of alleged rape and suicides by women at the ashram.

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