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Saturday, December 9, 2023

Torture, sexual assault on Ashram inmates, TN DGP orders CB-CID probe


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Chennai: Tamil Nadu Director General of Police (DGP) C Sylendra Babu today ordered a Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID) probe into the alleged torture and sexual assualt of inmates at Anbu Jothi ashram at Kundalapuliyur village in Villupuram
district of the State.

The DGP issued an order transferring the probe from the district police to the CB-CID wing of the State police.

The district police who went to the ashram to enquire on a missing complaint earlier this month stumbled upon the horror tale, wherein several destitutes and mentally ill persons were chained and raped by those who administer the ashram.

More than 100 inmates were rescued from the ashram, which has been functioning since 2005. It was registered under the Nalla Samariyar Charitable Trust, and has been functioning without proper licences as a home for people with  mental illnesses and retardation, destitute women, beggars and alcohol addicts.

The CBCID will also investigate complains that many residents of the ashram, who were shifted to a home in Bengaluru, have gone missing.

The local police have arrested the ashram owner Jubin Baby (45), his wife Maria (43) of Kerala and six of their associates on charges of rape and assault, among others.

They were booked under various Secs of the IPC, including 376 (rape) and under Section 4 of TNPWH (Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Woman Harassment) act among others.

The Police were also investigating a possible human trafficking angle. As the unlawful acts in the ashram came to light, more complaints have started pouring in against the ashram, including that of inmates going missing.

Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu Forest Department seized the two monkeys used to scare and attack residents at the ashram and Jubin Bay was booked under the provision of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.

After receiving information that the ashram owner used monkeys to scare and attack residents who refused to cooperate, a Forest team arrived at the scene a couple of days ago.

After coming to know that forest and police department personnel are visiting the ashram, the ashram staff had opened the cage and let the monkeys escape.

However, two monkeys remained on the building terrace and in trees in the vicinity and were caught by the forest department officials.

In a related development, the National Commission for Women (NCW) has suo motu taken cognisance of the incident and has constituted a fact-finding team to enquire into the allegations and submit a report.


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