Visakhapatnam 'seer' arrested for molesting girl in his ashram
A few days ago, the girl managed to escape from the ashram and boarded the Tirumala express train and reached Vijayawada where she was helped by some people to contact a child protection official
VISAKHAPATNAM: A 60-year-old "seer" was arrested for allegedly molesting a girl for a certain period in the ashram he runs in Visakhapatnam, police said on Tuesday.
Paramananda runs the Ramananda Jnanananda ashram at Venkoji Nagar in M V P Colony area, which came under his authority through heredity. The ashram has been in existence since 1955.
"The seer used to call two children (girls) who are around 14 years old after 9 pm on the pretext of getting his legs pressed but used to do all kinds of manhandling," Visakhapatnam police commissioner Trivikram Varma told PTI on Tuesday, confirming molestation charges.
A few days ago, the girl managed to escape from the ashram and boarded the Tirumala express train and reached Vijayawada where she was helped by some people to contact a child protection official, Varma said.
Later, the girl was escorted to a Disha (women's protection) police station in Vijayawada where she lodged a complaint and subsequently Paramananda was arrested in the port city.
Incidentally, Paramananda himself had lodged a missing complaint on June 15 at M V P Colony police station to avoid suspicion.
Meanwhile, police are talking to other children from the ashram to elicit information on the antecedents of the arrested man to know if such incidents had occurred earlier as well.
In the event of such a scenario, the commissioner noted that all those cases will be clubbed together into one case for further action.
Police registered a case under Sections 505 and 506 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
The ashram has 12 children and six staff members. Out of the 12, eight are boys and four girls.
Eleven of the 12 children are from Araku tribal area while the girl who lodged the complaint came from Gandepally area in Rajamahendravaram.
Varma said the victim first joined the Gandepally Sadhu Matham in Rajamahendravaram back in 2016 as she lost her parents and was later shifted to Paramananda's ashram.