The children had been sent to the ashram by trusting parents with limited means, in hope of giving them a good education.
Muzaffarnagar: Children at an ashram in Shukratal in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar said that after their day’s work, the ashram owner, known as ‘Maharaj’, would force them to drink alcohol calling it ‘coronavirus medicine’.
The children claimed that the self-attested Godman would then force them to watch adults films and do ‘bad things’ to them.
Ten young boys, who were allegedly sexually harassed, thrashed and forced to work as labourers, were rescued from the ashram recently. An FIR was lodged against the ashram owner under IPC section 377 (unnatural offences) and under various sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
The owner of Godiya Math Ashram, Swami Bhakti Bhushan, was arrested after a complaint was filed by a child helpline against him.
The children rescued from the ashram were aged between 7 and 16 and hail from the northeastern states. The children were rescued by a team of state child care helpline and police after they received a tip-off about their exploitation by the ashram owner and his associates.
The children had been sent to the ashram by trusting parents with limited means, in the hope of giving them a good education.
A medical examination confirmed four of them were sexually assaulted.
Muzaffarnagar SSP Abhishek Yadav said told IANS, “The ‘Maharaj’ is a resident of Sisauli village. He set up the ashram 12 years ago. He has no prior record. Locals said he had amassed donations in his previous stint as a godman in Chandigarh, where he used to set up his ashram. The children had been engaged in the construction of the grand two-storeyed ashram building.”
“We have CCTV cameras on the premises that can be scanned. The children had been living here for a long time but now locals have told them to say all this as some people are creating trouble after the ashram was donated a piece of land,” he told reports, while dismissing the allegations.