Ashram owner arrested for sexually harassing children in UP

Muzaffarnagar: The owner of an ashram in Shukertal was arrested for allegedly sexually harassing four children and forcing them and the others to work as labourers, police said on Friday.

Swami Bhakti Bhushan Govind Maharaj was arrested when he was trying to escape from the ashram, they said.

According to Additional District Magistrate Amit Kumar, a case was registered against the owner and others under IPC sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 377 (unnatural offences), 504 ( intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and sections 5/6 of the POCSO Act.

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On July 7, a team of childcare helpline and police rescued eight children then and two later. They were aged between seven to ten years and hailed from Tripura, Mizoram and Assam.

They were also produced before the children welfare board. In a medical examination, four of the children were confirmed to be sexual harassed.

Meanwhile, Subdivisional Magistrate Kuldeep Meena recorded their statement.

The district authorities informed the parents of the victims who alleged sexual harassment by Bhushan and claimed that he forced them to lay bricks as part of manual labour.

Bhushan, who established the ashram in 2008, denied the charges against him, claiming he was falsely implicated in case.

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