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Chhattisgarh News
Ashram president Swami Ramanand booked for unnatural acts with minor girls

RAIGARH (Chhattisgarh): A case of unnatural act and immoral activities by the president of an Ashram School situated at Salkhiya village in Lailunga with minor girl students of the Ashram has come to the fore.

According to sources, the Ashram president, 76-year-old Swami Ramanand Saraswati has been in the act for the last one year. He had threatened the students with life, if they would inform about it to anybody. However, two girls informed their parents about the incidents.

On the complaints of the parents, Poonjipathra and Lailunga police had surrounded the Ashram on Saturday to arrest the accused Swami, but he gave a slip to the police and escaped from there. The district collector has formed a five-member team for the enquiry of the case.

An Ashram, named Arya Vidya Sabha, has been running in Salkhiya situated on Pathalgaon road, about 8 km from here, since 1984, where education and initiation are being imparted to tribal and poor children. At present, 319 children are studying there.

It has been said that the annual fee of the Ashram is Rs 3,500 and the children of those parents who are unable to pay the fee were detained in the Ashram during summer vacation. They were asked to work in the Ashram. Children from nearby villages like Samaruma and Amlideeh also studying in the Ashram.

According to sources, Ashram president Ramanand Saraswati allegedly calls the 8 to 14 year old children residing in the ashram to his room on the pretext of work and commits unnatural and indecent acts with them. The incident was unravelled when a 12-year-old student of class 6, resident of Amlideeh, informed his family through phone about the unnatural activities committed by Ramanand Saraswati. When the parents brought her from the Ashram and asked her, she told them about the incidents in detail.

Her father on Saturday informed the Poonjipathra police about the incident. However, another victim girl also fled from the ashram, protesting the unnatural act of the Swami.

After questioning both the girls, Poonjipathra police station in-charge KL Nand, along with both the students and their parents reached Lailunga to arrest Ramanand, but he had escaped before the police could reach there. It is said that Ramanad Saraswatri had left the Ashram on Friday night, without informing anybody.

With the fear of arrest, he left his Scorpio vehicle in the Ashram. The police have interrogated other people residing in the Ashram and checked the chamber of the superintendent but got no evidence.

However, fearing disrepute of the Ashram, the management avoids to reveal anything. Ramanand Saraswati is basically a resident of Rajasthan and he is in the Ashram since 2006. Meanwhile, the police have registered criminal case against the Ashram president Ramanand Saraswati and launched a search for him.