A day after the Delhi police raided the Adhyatmik Vishwa Vidyalaya ashram run by self-styled godman Virendra Dev Dixit in Rohini, Delhi, the city high court has ordered a CBI probe against the organization and its founder. A bench of acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar has told the CBI to set up a special investigation team (SIT) to look into the matter.
Several cases are also registered against the ashram in Delhi and other states and the CBI will look into these cases and actions taken as well.
"There are cases registered in both Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. CBI shall investigate the cases which have been registered in Delhi as well as examine the daily diary entries and proceed with the inquiries and registration of the cases in accordance with law. In so far as the cases registered in Uttar Pradesh are concerned, the CBI shall file a status report within three weeks from today before this court," the Delhi High Court said in its order, reported the Times of India.
The police had raided the ashram on Tuesday, December 19, after worried parents approached the Delhi High Court through NGO Foundation for Social Empowerment run by Seema Sharma.
Disgusting details have been revealed since the raid and the many have now drawn similarities with the Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim case. While it was earlier said that Dixit kept numerous women and young girls at the ashram, it is suspected that the building that houses the male staff could also have some minor boys in it.
The panel, assigned to examine the place, also told the court that living conditions at the ashram were "horrible." Speaking of the plight, the panel said that over 100 women and young girls lived in "animal-like conditions with no privacy even for bathing," and even seemed to be drugged.
In fact, the ashram staff is said to have assaulted the inspection panel as well, and locked them up for about an hour.
These claims come in addition to what was reported after the police raided the ashram. The women, called gopiyan, are reportedly made to dress in pink sarees and white blouses. A former disciple also told Mail Today that Dixit organises a seven-day course for his followers and many parents also leave their daughter at the ashrams. During these times, the girls are often sent to various other ashrams without the knowledge of their parents.
Police also spotted several odd things at the ashram such as secret chambers, tiny maze-like rooms, and weird staircases that would make escaping impossible for the victims. Neighbours revealed that about four-five girls had committed suicide at the ashram and the team also found a room used to store a huge amount of medicine and syringes.
Another follower also revealed that the "godman" was a drug addict and often exploited women, sometimes raping about 10 of them a day. He reportedly also tracked the menstrual cycle of the girls and the girl who got her first periods would be flown down to the ashram so that Dixit could rape her. He also regularly got massages from naked girls.
During the raid, the police had detained a woman and a guard of the ashram, while Dixit, 75, is yet to be arrested.