Women Held Captive, Repeatedly Raped By Priests in Amritsar Temple
The victims had gone to the head priest to complain about his disciples. Instead of helping, he raped them.
Punjab police has arrested the head priest and another priest of the Ram Tirath Temple in Amritsar for holding two women captive and raping them repeatedly. The two women have been rescued by the police when it raided the temple Ashram on 18 May.
The two priests who have been arrested are Girdhari Nath and Varinder Nath. Two other accused Suraj Nath and Nachhatar Nath managed to escape and the police is on the lookout for them.
According to DSP Gurpartap Singh Sahota, the raid on the Gyan Nath Ashram was carried out on the basis of a written complaint by member of the Punjab Commission for Scheduled Castes Tarsem Singh Sialka.
Sahota said that the victims, aged 25 years and 40 years respectively, were raped by the four accused.
How the Case Came to Light
According to the police, the victims had gone to the head priest to complain about his disciples Suraj Nath and Nachhatar Nath and tell him that they had raped them. But instead of addressing their complaint, the two senior priests Girdari Nath and Varinder Nath also raped the victims.
One of the victims, who is 25 years of age, is reported to have gone to the Ashram to seek blessings from the priests. She was allegedly taken captive, her phone was stolen and she was raped by the priests.
However, according to reports, one of the victims managed to grab hold of a mobile phone at the Ashram and inform her family in Batala, Gurdaspur.
Acting on Sialka’s complaint, the Amritsar Police SSP Vikramjeet Singh Duggal dispatched a team led by SP Amandeep Kaur and DSP Sahota to raid the temple. They were accompanied by Sialka and the local tehsildar.
Police said that the two arrested priests have been were booked under section of 376, 379, 506 of IPC.
The incident has shocked people in Amritsar as the temple is one of the main landmarks in the district. Situated, 11 km away from the city, the temple is said to be the Ashram of Maharishi Valmiki. It is said to be the place where Valmiki gave shelter to Sita and where Ram and Sita’s sons Luv and Kush were born. The temple came in controversy a few years ago, when a clash took place due to a dispute between two of the temple Mahants.
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