delhi police
[Representational Image]Reuters

Just when details of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's scandalous actions were finally dying down, here comes another self-styled godman, who seems to be following in his footsteps. The Delhi police on Tuesday, December 19, raided an ashram in the capital city where the godman is said to have sexually exploited numerous minor girls and women.

The police raided the Adhyatmik Vishwa Vidyalaya in Rohini until late in the night after several parents told the Delhi High Court that self-styled godman Virendra Dev Dikshit kept numerous women there. The police have detained a guard and a woman from the ashram, where the team also found a room used to store a huge amount of medicine and syringes. However, Dikshit, 75, is yet to be arrested.

Dikshit has branches of the ashram all over the country and his ashrams house women of all age groups, sources told Mail Today. These women, called gopiyan, are reportedly made to dress in pink sarees and white blouses. A former disciple also told the daily that Dikshit 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.

"My daughter was just 14 years old and even wasted her whole academic year," a retired police official, who had left the girl at the Delhi ashram but she was found in Uttar Pradesh, told the daily.

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 also revealed that about four-five girls had committed suicide at the ashram.

A meticulous plan

Dikshit also seems to have a well-thought out way in which he gets these girls and women to the ashram. He reportedly convinces the parents to send their daughters to the ashram, after which they are made to sign a declaration that says that the parents have willingly sent their daughters to the ashram. When the girls turn 18, they are made to sign another declaration that they are in the ashram on their own will, which in turn is sent to the parents and the local police.

After this, the women are not allowed to meet their family members and are often sent to various other locations. One of the victims from the ashram also revealed that she was repeatedly raped by Dikshit. 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 Dikshit could rape her. He also regularly got massages from naked girls.

Worried parents are said to have approached the Delhi High Court through NGO Foundation for Social Empowerment run by Seema Sharma after which a raid was ordered. "The matters complained of in the writ petition are of an extremely urgent nature and suggest danger to the lives and limbs of several girls stated to be illegally confined in the premises," the court order said.

Earlier, a few women had spoken to Hindi Daily Dainik Bhaskar and detailed their ordeal at the ashram. They had revealed that the women living their were routinely raped and assaulted.