Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, May 25:
A Baba of an ashram in Odisha’s Puri district was on Saturday arrested by police while he was trying to terminate the pregnancy of a 14-year-old victim at a private nursing home here. The accused was sent to jail on Sunday after his bail plea was rejected by the local court here.
The Baba, known as Raghunandan Prabhu (39), was an inmate of Danda Bhanga Lila Kunja Ashram at Polang Tota area under Chandanpur police station limits since last 10 years and was engaged in the spiritual activities of the religious place.
He used to visit the houses of his devotees (guru bhai) under the Sadar police limits to pluck flowers to be offered to the Lords at the ashram.
Recently, he allegedly raped the minor girl studying in Class VIII while her parents were away and warned her against revealing this to anyone. He threatened to eliminate her entire family if she revealed it to anybody. The victim, under duress, remained mum till the matter was out in the open.
On Friday, she complained of pain in the abdomen after which the accused brought her to a private nursing home near the bus stand in Puri.
He administered some pills to her to abort the pregnancy. As the accused was accompanying the victim to drop her at her home, the girl suffered excruciating pain in the abdomen which forced the accused to bring her to the district headquarters hospital.
When the family members of the victim came to know about the incident, they rushed to the hospital and the victim narrated her ordeal to her parents.
The stunned parents of the victim detained the accused and called up Kumbharpada police, who handed over the Baba to the Sadar police.
The brother of the victim filed an FIR with the Sadar police after which the accused was arrested and forwarded to court. He was sent to jail on Sunday as his bail plea was rejected.
Earlier in the day, the accused and the victim were taken to district headquarters hospital here for medical examination.
As per sources in the police, the accused has confessed to have committed the crime.
Notably, the Danda Bhanga Lila Kunja Ashram in Chandanpur is around 12 km from famous Jagannatha temple. The ashram spread over six acres of land has Jagannath, Balabhadra, Subhadra and Sudarshan as its presiding deities.