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Nashik ashram director, arrested for raping girl, sexually assaulted other minors: police

During the course of the investigation, five other girls told the police they were also raped by the director, who lived at the ashram.

"We are checking whether more girls were sexually assaulted by him," said an official.

The director of an ashram in Nashik, who was arrested earlier this week for allegedly sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl, also raped five other girls at the facility. The police said Sunday the first case was registered on Wednesday after the girl told her relative about the sexual abuse and they arrested the accused, 28, a day later.

They said five more First Information Reports (FIRs) have now been registered against the director after the other girls, aged between 14 and 17, told them about their sexual abuse. They added the incidents of rape have been taking place for the past few months.

An officer privy to the investigation said, “The parents of the 14-year-old girl (first victim) are labourers. They go to work early in the morning and return late in the evening.” As they could not afford to stay home to take care of their minor daughter, they opted to keep her at the nearby ashram, add the officer.

On Wednesday, when the victim’s relative went to meet her, she told them about being raped by the person who looks after the ashram. “She even divulged the name of the accused following which they took her home,” said an investigator.

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The relatives along with the victim then went to the local police station where a case under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Protection of Children under Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act, 2012, was registered. A senior police inspector of the police station said, “A team was then sent and the accused was arrested on Thursday. He was produced in court and has been remanded in police custody till December 3.”

During the course of the investigation, five other girls told the police they were also raped by the director, who lived at the ashram. “Under the pretext of some work, he would ask a girl to come with him to a room after which he sexually assaulted them,” said an investigator.

The police said the director also threatened them against telling anyone about the rapes. They added the statements of the girls have been recorded on camera and a woman officer of an assistant commissioner of police rank has been appointed to probe the crime.

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“We are checking whether more girls were sexually assaulted by him,” said an official.

First published on: 27-11-2022 at 15:12 IST
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