On pretext of providing spiritual guidance,preacher raped 17-yr-old girl,arrested

Accused had been living at an ashram in PGI for 20 years,he allegedly threatened the victim to visit him again.

Written by Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published: May 17, 2013 1:27 am

Accused had been living at an ashram in PGI for 20 years,he allegedly threatened the victim to visit him again.

A 45-year-old preacher was arrested by the UT Police for allegedly raping a 17-year-old girl at Balmiki Rishi Ashram in Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER).

Mahavir alias Sant Rishi Ram was arrested on Wednesday night on charges of rape,following a complaint filed by the victim. A local court on Thursday remanded him in judicial custody.

Around 20 years back,Mahavir was brought by the residents of PGIMER to live in a Balmiki temple as a care taker.

The incident took place about a week ago,when the victim reportedly went to Mahavir to seek spiritual guidance. On the pretext of providing remedies to her problems,the accused allegedly asked her to serve at the temple and a few days later raped her. Following this incident,the victim returned from the ashram. However,the accused allegedly started calling the victim and asked her to come again. He also reportedly threatened the victim.

On Wednesday afternoon,the accused allegedly went to the victim’s residence and forced her to come along with him. In the scuffle,the victim called the police control room,but the accused fled the spot.

“The victim filed a complaint stating that the accused had raped her thrice in a day,about a week ago. Since then,the accused had been harassing her. His ashram was raided and Mahavir was arrested on charges of rape,” said DSP Ashish Kapoor.

“My father and other elders of the locality had asked Mahavir to stay at the ashram in PGI. He was asked to look after the temple and also to guard the locality at night. For a few years,he was worked sincerely. Lately,his activities turned objectionable,” said Rishi Ranbir,a resident of the same locality.

Living on PGIMER’s land as a caretaker,Mahavir started preaching and giving advice to people. “We stopped going to the temple. We have even refrained our children from playing in a park next to the temple,” claimed another resident of the locality.

One of his followers,Manoj Kumar,claimed that Mahavir led a simple life. A part of the ashram had been turned into a gym with all the latest equipment. Mahavir also had a washing machine and car. When asked about the gym which contradicted his claims of simple life,Manoj Kumar said that Mahavir liked to work out.

Rishi Ranbir,another resident said,“Recently,Mahavir started to narrate obscene things to children. We had informed the PGI police post officials about his suspicious activities,but they never took note of our claims”.

PGIMER Police Post incharge Usha Rani said,“We patrol in that locality every day. Earlier,when we asked the residents about Mahavir,no one uttered a word. If we had known this fact earlier,we would have certainly taken action against him”.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (Central) Ashish Kapoor said,“The accused was arrested after a raid was conducted,following a complaint filed by a 17-year-old girl on Wednesday evening”.

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