Kirtankar in Shirur held for molesting two minor girls
Victims allege they were sexually abused between June 2016 and May 2017 by Babaji and Aabaji Chalak; brothers booked under Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Actpune Updated: May 26, 2017 12:32 IST
The Pune rural police on Thursday have arrested a prominent ‘kirtankar’ Babaji Chalak (72) for allegedly molesting two minor girl students at his ashram in Shirur. Babaji’s brother Aabaji (42) has also been held and the duo booked under Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POSCO) 2012. A kirtankar is a narrator of kirtans and abhangs, traditional devotional songs and ballads based on teachings from ancient scriptures and saints.
Chalak brothers were arrested by the Shirur police in Pune district following complaint registered by the parents of two girls. Police picked up the brothers after they recorded the statements of two girls. Babaji was arrested minutes after he finished the routine religious rituals on Thursday morning.
Shirur API Ganesh Kshirsagar, who is the investigating officer, did not rule out of possibility of involvement of Chalak brothers in more similar cases. “Girls at the residential school were found scared and tense,” he said.
The two girls told the police that they were sexually abused between June 2016 and May 2017 by Babaji and Aabaji Chalak. One of the girls had narrated her experience to the parents in December last but her parents had convinced her to continued the education. When the girl made the same complaint to her parents when they took her home a few days back, they approached the police. Another girl also made a similar complaint with the police.
Babaji, a prominent kirtankar in Shirur area, has set up Pasaydan Gurukul Sanstha, a residential school for spiritual education. Around 20 girls, including the two victim girls, were learning kirtan at the school.
Police investigation revealed that many of the girls were refusing to join the residential school after the summer vacation. They plan to take the help of counsellors as a part of investigation.
First Published: May 26, 2017 12:30 IST