Two Jain monks, who were booked by police for allegedly defiling a place of worship in Sabarkantha, were arrested on Sunday for allegedly molesting a woman.
According to police, the accused, Kalyan Sagarji Maharaj (85) and Rajtilak Sagarji Maharaj (50), two Jain monks associated with Pavapuri Jain Tirthdham in Idar town of Sabarkantha, were detained by a police team on Saturday afternoon.
Police said that a woman approached them on June 25 stating that the accused monks had molested her eight years ago inside the ashram premises.
On June 22, an FIR was filed against the two monks for allegedly defiling a place of worship. On June 25, another FIR was lodged against them after the woman approached the police with a complaint.
Police said the monks have been arrested as per the probe in connection with the second FIR while the probe into the first one is going on.
“We have filed fresh charges against the accused under Indian Penal Code Section 354 (assault on a woman to outrage her modesty) after the woman filed a written complaint. They were detained on Saturday itself but as per Supreme Court guidelines their Covid-19 test was first undertaken and they were arrested on Sunday,” said an official at Idar police station.
According to police, on January 3 this year, the Pavapuri Jain Tirthdham Trust members found an obscene video of the two monks with a Surat-based woman who had come to the ashram with her husband.
It was initially alleged that the two monks established a sexual relationship with the woman under the guise of “tantra and mantra”.
However, the woman seen in the video filed an affidavit in February wherein she stated that she has no complaints with the two monks, as per the police. On June 22, Dr Aashit Doshi, one of the trustees of the temple filed a complaint with the Idar police stating that the two monks have defiled the place of worship with their obscene acts and had allegedly threatened him with dire consequences if he approached the police.
Taking cognisance, police filed an FIR against the two monks on June 22 under IPC sections 295 (defiling a place of worship), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace).
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