Delhi

Efforts on to trace Rohini ashram founder, HC told

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Self-styled preacher could be hiding in Nepal, says CBI

The CBI told the Delhi High Court on Thursday that self-styled preacher Virender Dev Dixit, who had allegedly confined several women at an ashram here, is absconding and efforts are being made to trace him in Nepal.

The probe agency said Mr. Dixit has not joined investigation and efforts to trace him have not yielded results so far.

It added that Mr. Dixit could be hiding in Nepal, where he has set up ashrams.

Look out Circular

Following the submission, a Bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C. Hari Shankar asked CBI to explore additional steps, including issuing a Look out Circularto trace Mr. Dixit.

The counsel appearing for the ashram said he was not aware of Mr. Dixit’s whereabouts as he does not stay long at one place and keeps moving from ashram to ashram delivering sermons.

The Bench was also informed that the ashram has changed its name from ‘Adhyatmik Vishwa Vidyalaya’ to ‘Adhyatmik Vidyalaya’ and the required changes have been made to its website, YouTube channel and the building itself, located in Rohini.

The court, which had earlier directed the ashram to remove the word ‘vishwavidyalaya’ from its name, directed the ashram to ensure that all printed material it distributed bore the new name.

Random inspection

The court asked a committee appointed by it to conduct random inspection of the ashrams run by the self-styled preacher in the Capital to ascertain the health condition of the inmates there.

It said the ashram should not keep the women and girls locked up in the building or in cages.

The committee, comprising advocates Ajay Verma and Nandita Rao, and Delhi Commission for Women chairperson Swati Maliwal, was appointed by the High Court in December last year to inspect the ashram at Rohini.

Ms. Maliwal had said that the girls and women were kept in the ashram in “unhygienic and animal-like conditions with no privacy even for bathing”.

‘Spiritual university’

The court’s direction came while hearing a petition by non-government organisation Foundation for Social Empowerment alleging that several minors and women were being illegally confined at the “spiritual university” and was not allowed to meet their parents.

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Printable version | Nov 22, 2019 7:35:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/efforts-on-to-trace-rohini-ashram-founder-hc-told/article23265325.ece

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