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Court orders protection for Italian woman ‘raped by yoga guru’, arrest of suspect

By Richa Banka
PUBLISHED ON FEB 01, 2020 08:56 PM IST

New Delhi

A 42-year-old woman from Italy has approached the Delhi High Court seeking cancellation of bail of a man, who she alleged had raped and duped her during her visit to India in 2018.

On Friday, the high court directed police to provide the woman protection while also directing AIIMS to treat her free of cost, after she informed the court that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Justice Suresh Kait also directed the Union ministry of external affairs (MEA) to extend the woman’s visa while also stating that in case her visa has not been extended, no action should be taken against her. The court said that since threats are being issued to her, the deputy commissioner of police (DCP) should also provide protection to her.

In her plea filed through advocate Alok Alakh Shrivastava, the woman, a resident of Milan, Italy, sought action against the accused who had allegedly called her to India after posing as a yoga guru. In order to lure her, the suspect also sent her his pictures with many important political leaders.

She alleged that the accused contacted her in May 2018 and said that she can start her own yoga centres. He later started sending her messages stating that he was in love with her. However, when she came to India in July 2018, he sexually assaulted her and also duped her of Rs 5 lakh for “jointly setting up a yoga centre” promising “good returns.”

Speaking to HT, the woman said that she came to India first in 2004 and then in 2015. During her first two visits, she stayed in Rishikesh and Haridwar, among other places where she practiced yoga. She said that she had heard many incidents of fraudulent cases from other parts of the world, but had never thought that she would become a victim.

“I am hopeful of getting justice from the court. Friday’s order was beyond my expectations. Not only did the judge direct the police to arrest the accused, but I was also touched by the attention he gave to my health, security and visa-related issues,” she said.

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