Millennium Post

Rs 5 lakh reward on self-styled godman: CBI

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh to anyone who can provide any information leading to the arrest of self-styled godman Virender Dev Dikshit, in connection with multiple cases where he was allegedly holding girls and women as prisoners in his 'ashrams' across the country.

The Delhi Commission for Women had in co-ordinated raids with Delhi Police rescued over 40 girls from one such ashram in Rohini in December 2017.

In a statement issued by DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal at the time, she said that the ideology of the organisation clearly shows intent to sexually exploit women. In documents accessed by Millennium Post, the ashram in Rohini called itself "Adhyatmik Vishwavidyalya" and described minor girls as "kumaris (maidens)" who are meant to become "servants of the world".

Delhi Police had filed three separate FIRs in the case throughout 2017, and following the raid conducted in the North-West Delhi ashram of Dikshit, the High Court of Delhi had transferred

the case to the federal investigative agency, asking it to form a Special Investigating Team

to probe the case. No law enforcement agency has

been able to locate Dikshit (77) since then.

Sources familiar with developments said that CBI had received some inputs about Dikshit's possible sightings in Nepal. Subsequently, the investigative agency, through Interpol has issued one Blue Corner Notice (BCN) on March 26, 2018, and two Look Out Notices on January 22, 2018, and February 21, 2018, respectively. In addition, the CBI has formed several teams to work on the case.

The BCN, which according to Interpol is to help collect additional information about a person's identity, location or activities in relation to a crime, has been issued against Dikshit in Nepal. Sources here added that CBI has received no indication from Nepalese authorities about the possible location of Dikshit in the country as of yet.

Following the High Court directive, CBI had filed three FIRs in the case. In one of the cases, official sources said that CBI has completed the investigation and filed a chargesheet in front of the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate in Rohini on October 3, 2018, naming 59 female inmates of Dikshit's ashram. Investigations in the other two cases are continuing.

The 77-year-old godman has two non-bailable warrants issued against him at the Chief Metropolitan Magistrates' court in Rohini. Sources here added that CBI has put up notices on the gates of all of Dikshit's ashrams in Delhi and efforts to apprehend him are in full force. Dikshit has over 25 ashrams in India and numerous 'Gitashalas', which according to CBI are where he reads teachings from the Bhagavad Gita to his 'disciples'. Official sources said that it is not possible to trace the number of 'Gitashalas' as they are conducted in informal settings all over the nation. Sources added that Dikshit has one ashram in Nepal as well.

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