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LGBT Activist Divya Dureja Booked For Sexual Assault, Out On Bail

A 28-year-old French woman has accused Dureja of drugging and sexually assaulting her in a resort in Goa last week.

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(Trigger warning: Descriptions of sexual assault and physical violence. Reader discretion is advised. )

A 28-year-old French woman has accused well-known LGBTQI activist, poet and psychologist Divya Dureja of allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting her in a resort in North Goa on 23 February.

While Dureja was arrested by Goa Police on 24 February, following an FIR in Pernem Police Station, she was later released on bail by a local court.

The accused is currently admitted in a psychiatric facility in Delhi, and is undergoing treatment for her injuries.

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What Happened

The survivor, who is a yoga instructor, arrived in Goa in January. According to her Instagram post, she connected with Dureja through Instagram.

The alleged incident took place when they decided to meet at the Sea View Resort in Ashvem. Dureja allegedly drugged and locked up the yoga instructor, according to the complainant.

“Divya asked me to come to her room to help her with her hair. Under the false pretext of helping me with my chronic back pain, she drugged me and locked me in her room for 6 hours, where she forcefully performed a so-called shamanic ritual, claiming we were meant since our past lives to be reunited, and that this ritual was what we needed to be together forever.”
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“She molested me and inserted her hand in my vagina, insinuating she was planting a tree,” Scroll.in quoted the French woman.

Let This Not Be Media Trial: Parents of Divya Dureja

In a statement shared with The Quint, Dureja’s parents said:

“Divya is ill and has been admitted for treatment of multiple injuries. She has been semi-conscious since 24 February. She is not able to access her phone and reply to requests for comment. Let this not be a media trial. An FIR has been lodged. Let the police investigate and come out with the truth.”

Her sister Dr Jayati Dureja, in an Instagram post, wrote:

“My sister has been in a state of psychosis since the last few days. She has been unable to speak or recognise anyone, including her own mother. My sister is effectively comatose since last few days. She shows signs of deep physical and mental trauma, injuries & shows signs of probably being forcibly drugged & assaulted.”

“In the meantime, I beg you all, do not jump to conclusions. I want answers to what happened to my baby sister in Goa as well,” she added.
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What Are The Cops Saying?

Speaking to The Indian Express, North Goa Superintendent of Police Utkrisht Prasoon said that Dureja was booked under Sections 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement) and 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the Indian Penal Code.

Sub Inspector Reecha Maheshwar Bhonsle, the investigating officer in the case, told Mid-day newspaper that the case was a “rare one” in terms of legal ambiguity.

“Basically, ‘a man’ needs to be involved in such a case. The section (IPC 354) that we have used says ‘anyone’ instead of ‘a man’. It says ‘anyone’ or ‘whoever’,” she said.

Bhonsle added that both women are currently undergoing medical examination.

“The complainant’s medical report shows that she has injuries on her back. The doctors say these are fresh injuries…and seem to be from the same incident. The rest like blood samples, etc, are being sent to the laboratory now.” However, Dureja’s medical reports “have nothing of this sort.”

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Topics:  LGBTQIA Community 

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