//Sexual abuse of sadhvis : CBI submitted report

Sexual abuse of sadhvis : CBI submitted report


CBI, probing the alleged sexual exploitation of "sadhvis" in a ‘dera’ (settlement) run by a particular sect near Sirsa in Haryana, has submitted its status report to Punjab and Haryana High Court, seeking more time as it was looking for two more accused who have gone underground.

The agency, which is investigating the case on orders from the Court, claimed that the two persons — Avtar Singh and one more accused — who were questioned earlier, were required by it again as there was "some deception" in their polygraphy test, CBI sources said.

The Court had received an anonymous complaint alleging widespread sexual abuse of "sadhvis" in the ‘dera’.

Besides the sexual abuse case, the CBI is probing two more cases of murder of Ranjit Singh, a member of Dera, and a journalist Ram Chander Chatterpati. The journalist was murdered in October, 2002.

So far the CBI has questioned 175 witnesses, which includes sadhvis and sadhus living in and out of Dera township. The sources said the local police was unable to provide any help and also sought to influence CBI not to make further inquiries in the Dera Saccha Sauda on the ground it could lead to a law and order problems.

CBI has announced a reward of Rs one lakh for any person who gave specfic information or evidence relating to the alleged sexual exploitation of sadhvis in the Dera and murders of Singh and Chatterpati.

The High Court, after receiving the anonymous complaint, had asked the District Judge of Sirsa to look into the matter discreetly, which in turn reverted to the High Court saying that there appeared to be some substance in the complaint and it needed to be further investigated.

The matter was later referred to the CBI for a detailed inquiry and it was asked to submit a detailed status report from time to time.