After Ram Rahim, women devotees of Sankutir Ashram alleges rape against ‘baba’

Basti (Uttar Pradesh), Dec 20: After Dera Sacha Sauda chief Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, was convicted for rape,  a fresh allegation of rape raised by women devotees has put another self-styled-godman from Uttar Pradesh in trouble.

Four women devotees of Sankutir Ashram in Uttar Pradesh’s Basti made allegations against its self-styled baba Mahant Swami Sachchidanand and two of his aides on Wednesday for raping and torturing them.

According to the devotees, they were raped, beaten up and exploited by the accused baba, Swami Sachchidanand, and his followers for years.

On expressing her ordeal, one of the victims told ANI, “I am from Chhattisgarh. I came here in 2008 at the age of 12. I was naive and did not know what was being done with me, when I refused to do anything; I was raped by three ‘babas’ here.”

“I was also kept captive, beaten up and repeatedly raped. He has several ashrams across India,” the victim added.

Following the complaint, the police registered a case against the accused and ashram authorities.

“We received a complaint of sexual exploitation of a few women at an ashram by the men living there. We have lodged an FIR and legal proceedings are being followed. We’ll take further action as per the findings,” Superintendent of Police (SP), Sankalp Sharma said.

The baba and four of his aides Param Chetanand, Vishwanatha and Gyan Baira Yyaanand are absconding.

The ashram has its branches in Delhi and many states, including Bihar and Maharashtra, across the country.

On August last year, a special CBI court in Panchkula, Haryana, delivered its verdict against Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh of Dera Sacha Sauda, in a sexual assault case regarding a former Dera sadhvi, finding Singh guilty of two counts of rape.  Following the conviction, there were violent protests in parts of India with reports of widespread vandalism.

Some of the Dera Sacha Sauda members were killed in clashes with police and about  300 people were injured as a result.