Vrindavan godman arrested for raping two women disciples
Bhagwat Acharya Vasudev Shastri had brought the two women to Vrindavan from their native village in Pune about three months ago. Both the women are 19 years old.
A 32-year-old godman was arrested on Wednesday in Vrindavan of Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura district for allegedly raping two women disciples from Maharashtra, police said, in the latest case involving spiritual leaders who have been accused of sexually abusing followers.
Mathura’s superintendent of police Shravan Kumar said Bhagwat Acharya Vasudev Shastri was booked under Section 376 (punishment for rape) of the Indian Penal Code and that the women were sent for medical examination.
Member of the District Legal Services Authority in Mathura Pratibha Sharma, who was informed about the incident by the residents on Wednesday, said Shastri brought the two women to Vrindavan from their native village in Pune about three months ago. Both the women are 19 years old.
Sharma said Shastri brought them to Vrindavan after convincing their family members that they would learn ‘Bhagwat’ from him. She said Shastri took obscene photographs and videos of the women and started blackmailing and raping them.
“They were silently bearing the trauma for the last three months. One of the women tried to return to her village but was caught and threatened by the accused,” Sharma said.
Shastri used to visit the women at their Nepali Mohalla residence in Motijheel area at night and sexually assault them, according to Sharma.
“The two women were being blackmailed and even beaten up by the accused. The owner of the house where the women resided was visually-impaired and the accused used to take benefit of this. When the local residents came to know about Shastri’s activities, they beat him up and handed him over to the police,” she said.
The matter was reported to the Kotwali police in Vrindavan and the women were rescued with the help of local residents.