If former inmate of the Mata Amritanandamayi Math Gail Tredwell lodges a formal complaint relating to the various allegations, including that of rape and financial irregularities that she had raised in her book Holy Hell and in a TV interview, the police will definitely register a case and follow it up, City Police Commissioner Debesh Kumar Behera has said.
Mr. Behera told The Hindu that Ms. Tredwell could even send her complaint by e-mail to him or to the Karunagapally police, which have jurisdiction over the area where the Math stands.
The police would verify her signature and register a First Information Report (FIR). The Karunagapally police station came under the law and order unit of the Kollam city police.
Mr. Behera said if there was a complaint, the police would in no way be averse to registering an FIR against the Math or anyone connected with the Math.
The Karunagapally police had sent an e-mail to Ms. Tredwell soon after learning about her allegations, asking her to formally substantiate her allegations.
Ms. Tredwell herself had confirmed receipt of the e-mail from the Karunagapally police in the course of a TV interview. In the interview, she had also stated that she would discuss the matter with certain others and send a reply.
Where was the need, he asked, to discuss it with others when she could lodge the complaint in person or by e-mail stating that she wanted a case to be registered. “If we register a case, it should stand and end up in the conviction of the accused.” Mr. Behera said.
The Math, which has a large following across the country and beyond and runs many institutions, has threatened to launch legal action against media houses that had publicised Ms. Tredwell’s allegations.
In a statement released by e-mail for publication late Thursday evening, the Math said: “The ashram is an open book. Any official concerned may check the financial accounts of the Mata Amritanandamayi Math at any time. All accounts are submitted at the right time to the government. The math has no accounts whatsoever in any Swiss bank or other foreign bank. Amma visits countries on the invitation of the devotees there. She is not a trustee of any of the ashram abroad. The allegations against the Math are totally false and baseless. Amma requests all her children to remain peaceful and calm and not to react emotionally.”