Aravindan Balakrishnan, who led a secretive Maoist communce in south London from 1975 to 2013, was found guilty on Friday of child cruelty and falsely imprisoning his daughter in bizarre case widely followed in Britain.
Balakrishnan, 75, who migrated to Britain from Singapore, was also convicted of the rape and sexual assault of two other cult members. The verdicts were delivered in the Southwark crown court after a two-year Scotland Yard investigation.
Balakrishnan established the Workers’ Institute of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought in Brixtonin 1975 and turned it into a secretive cult.
Balakrishnan’s daughter, who cannot be named for legal reasons, spent her life until the age of 30 imprisoned in the commune. Her father insisted on being called Comrade Bala and threatened that “everybody who leaves dies”.
The daughter escaped from the commune in October 2013 and told the police she was regularly beaten by Balakrishnan.
He reportedly lied to her, claiming her father was a dead freedom fighter and that her mother died in childbirth. Her mother, however, was inside the commune with her until she died in 1997 after falling from a window.
Balakrishnan’s daughter escaped with two other women from a house in, sparking a police investigation during which two more of his victims came forward.