(Kajal Singh intern journalist): Amritsar: The two priests who have been arrested are Girdhari Nath and Varinder Nath. Two other accused Suraj Nath and Nachhatar Nath managed to escape and the search is on for the police. According to DSP Gurpreet Singh Sahota, the raid on Gyan Nath Ashram was carried out on the basis of a written complaint by Punjab Scheduled Caste Commission member Tarsem Singh Sialka.
Sahota said that the victims were raped by four accused, aged 25 years and 40 years respectively. How the matter came to light According to the police, the victim went to the temple’s head priest to complain about the priest Sooraj Nath and Nachhatar Nath and told them that he had raped her. But instead of taking action on hearing his complaint by the head priest, he also raped the victim by senior priests Girdhari Nath and Varinder Nath.
The victim, who is 25 years old, used to go to the ashram to seek blessings from the priests. This time when she went there, she was allegedly taken captive, snatched her phone and she was subjected to heinous crimes like rape by priests in the temple. However, as per reports, the victim somehow took a mobile phone at the ashram and informed her family of the entire incident with her and informed her to come to Batala in Gurdaspur.
Acting on Sialka’s complaint, Amritsar Police SSP Vikramjit Singh Duggal sent a team led by SP Amandeep Kaur and DSP Sahota to raid the temple. He was accompanied by Sialka and local tehsildars. Police said that a case has been registered against both the arrested priests under Section 376, 379,506 of IPC. The incident shook people in Amritsar as the temple is one of the major sites in the district. Located 11 km from the city, the temple is called Maharishi Valmiki’s ashram. It is said that Valmiki gave shelter to Sita and where Rama and Sita’s sons Luv and Kush were born. The temple came into controversy a few years ago, when a dispute broke out between the two priests of the temple.