Godman Lakshyanand threatened minor girls with evil spirits before raping them
A day after self-styled godman Swami Lakshyanand Saraswati’s arrest, it has emerged that the 47-year-old had raped the two minor girls, aged 14 and 15, at his ashram in Raipur Rani block after threatening them with evil spirits.
An official privy to the investigation said the godman used to tell his followers, most of them from Punjab, that he had tantrik powers and could talk to evil spirits and control them. He even used to conduct havans at the ashram late at night, some locals in the area confirmed.
Assistant commissioner of police (ACP), women police station, Noopur Bishnoi said the 15-year-old complainant has alleged that the godman had raped her earlier too.
“The complainants are residents of Baddi in Himachal’s Solan district and their families were followers of the accused. The girls had come to perform ‘sewa’ (voluntary service) at the ashram on January 25 when the incident took place. The 15-year-old girl has alleged that she was raped by the accused earlier also during a recent visit to the ashram.”
On Thursday, a forensic team visited the room where the girls were raped and collected clothes and hair samples for testing. The team also carried out a videography of the ashram.
As per officials, the godman’s mobile records revealed that he had contacts in foreign countries and had even travelled abroad. Besides, he had a substantial following in Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh (UP) and used to get huge donations from them. Many influential people, including political leaders, also used to visit him, sources claimed. He even had four Facebook accounts and a page with several followers on it.
A native of UP, Lakshyanand had come to Raipur Rani in 2009 and offered to do voluntary service.
Over the years, the Sanatan Sanyas Ashram at Chota Trilokpur village in Raipur Rani was set up. It had several rooms, a yajna place and temple and was constructed in manner that no one could see inside.
Locals say that the godman had even stopped talking to the priests who had provided him land to set up the ashram in the village.
Sources said a programme had been scheduled at the ashram on Thursday on the occasion of Basant Panchami. However, as it was locked, several followers who had turned up in the morning, were seen returning dejected.
SEPARATE FIRS REGISTERED
On Wednesday, Lakshyanand was booked under Section 376 (2) (n) (committing rape repeatedly on the same woman) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 6 (aggravated penetrative sexual assault) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act on the complaint of the two minor girls.
Based on the legality in the case, police on Thursday lodged another similar FIR against him, making one of the minors a separate complainant. Confirming the same, ACP Noopur Bishnoi said, “As both girls are minors, we have proceeded with a second FIR against the accused in the matter. Now, both minors have been made complainants in separate FIRs.” The accused was produced in a local court on Thursday that sent him to judicial custody.