The Interpol has issued a red notice against Virendra Deo Dixit, self-styled godman who is accused of sexual exploitation and confinement of several girls over a period of time in a fortress-like ashram in Delhi’s Rohini area.
The ashram — Adhyatamik Vishwa Vidyalaya in Vijay Vihar (Rohini) was unearthed during a raid by Delhi Police and Delhi Commission for Women in December 2017. The authorities had rescued 67 women, mostly minors, from the so called ‘spiritual university’, where they had been confined in cages, fed like animals and weren’t allowed to meet their parents.
Dixit, 79, has been absconding since then and is suspected to be hiding in Nepal.
The Delhi high court handed over the probe to the Central Bureau of Investigation in December 2017 after which the agency formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to locate him and even announced a reward of ₹5 lakh for any information on his whereabouts. However, he has been untraceable.
The Interpol red notice, which is a global arrest warrant for a fugitive, will empower Nepal authorities to trace Dixit, arrest and hand him over to India, said an official.
The CBI has already chargesheeted Dixit in June 2019 in two rape cases. In one of them, CBI stated Dixit raped the complainant from 2011 to 2015 on various occasions in different branches of Adhyatmik Vidyalaya. CBI had claimed the girl was brought to Lucknow and given some intoxicated substances in milk after which she was allegedly raped.
Similarly, in the second chargesheet, CBI said Dixit, being head of the Ashram and a spiritual teacher, committed rape on a minor against her will at two different Ashrams at Kampil (Uttar Pradesh) and Vijay Vihar, Delhi during May/June 1999. “It was also alleged that the accused threatened the victim and gave life threat to her family members,” according to a CBI statement in 2019.
The North Delhi corporation had demolished the illegal ashram structures in January 2018.