On May 18, three priests and a driver in Amritsar had been held after allegedly taking two women hostage in the temple. The police had arrested Girdhari Nath, the chief Mahant of Guru Gyan Nath Ashram, Balmiki Tirtha and one of his companions Varinder Nath.
According to the information, two women aged 25 and 45, residents of Talwandi Bharatwal and Batala village of Batala, came to Ramatirtha (place of worship) a day earlier. During this time, when they reached the Dera Gyannath temple, the accused priests were present. According to the women, they were taken into a room in the camp and raped one by one by the priests supported by the driver.
All accused were later arrested. However, now in a turn of events, police has revealed a conspiracy theory in the allegations levied by the two women. According to the officials, there were eight conspirators involved in the matter, of which, two of them who arm-twisted the women to make false allegations have been arrested.
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Senior superintendent of police (SSP) Vikramjit Singh Duggal told the media that when the medical report of the women did not confirm rape, both women were questioned. He said,
They spilled the beans and told the police that it was a conspiracy of Tirath Singh, Joga Singh, Gopal Singh, Tarsem Singh, Vicky, Mandeep Singh, Sukhwinder Singh and Meghnath of different villages in Amritsar to unseat dera’s head Baba Girdhari Nath.
The SSP further said the women have told police that the 14-year-old son of the elder of the two was also abducted by the eight accused to pressure them to do as desired. The officer added,
The women said the accused had also offered Rs 5 lakh to them for the work. We have rescued the boy from the house of a relative of Tirath Singh in Mudhal village.
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Both the women recorded their statements before a judge in Ajnala court under Section 164 of the CrPC, confessing that they were not raped, the SSP said.
The SSP confirmed that Tirath Singh and Joga Singh had been arrested, while raids were on to nab the other accused.
Police have now registered a fresh case against the eight accused under :
- Section 195-A (threatening any person to give false evidence)
- Section 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs)
- Section 365 (kidnapping)
- Section 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life)
- Section 506 (criminal intimidation)
- Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy)
….of the IPC.
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