India

Self-styled godman Ashu Maharaj arrested for allegedly raping woman and her minor daughter

A woman claimed that she was raped repeatedly by godman, his friends and his son between 2008 and 2013.

New Delhi: Self-styled godman Ashu Maharaj, previously known as Asif Khan, was arrested on Thursday night for allegedly raping a woman and her minor daughter at his ashram in Delhi, said police.

His son Samar Khan was also detained by the Crime Branch for raping the woman, Additional Commissioner of Police (crime) Rajiv Ranjan said. The two accused were also questioned for hours in connection with the case.

In her complaint to police, the woman claimed that she was raped repeatedly by the self-styled godman, his friends and his son between 2008 and 2013, informed a police officer.

The woman also alleged that Ashu Maharaj had asked her to bring her minor daughter to him, and when she did, he raped her too.

A case was registered against Ashu Maharaj at the Hauz Khas Police Station last week. After an initial investigation, the case was transferred to the Crime Branch on Sunday.

Some more self-styled godmen who were accused of rape

Asaram Bapu was awarded life imprisonment by Jodhpur trial court. The self-styled godman was convicted on the charge of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl at his ashram near Jodhpur in 2013. The Police had filed an FIR under Sections 342, 376, 354 A, 506, 509/34 of the IPC, Sections 23, 26 of the Juvenile Justice Act and Section 8 of the POCSO Act. As per, 1,300-page chargesheet filed by the Rajasthan Police, Asaram was charged with sexual assault, rape and illegally confinement of a minor.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, head of spiritual sect Dera Sacha Sauda was declared guilty in a rape case by a special CBI court in Panchkula. According to reports, the victim, who is a former follower, accused Ram Rahim Singh of repeatedly raping her inside the Dera campus near Sirsa in Haryana.

In the guise of leading a spiritual life Ichchadhari Sant Swami was running a flourishing flesh trade racket. Ichchadhari Sant Swami Bhimanand Ji Maharaj Chitrakoot Wale, whose real name is Shiv Murat Dwivedi, was arrested twice for being involved in a large-scale sex racket in Delhi and later in Mumbai.

(With inputs from PTI)

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