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2 ex-sadhus accuse Pramukh Swami & 4 of sexual abuse

DNAHM67732 | 10/24/2013 | Author : dna correspondent | WC :578 | City-Ahmedabad

BAPS refutes allegation in official letter

Ahmedabad: Two former sadhus of BAPS Swaminarayan sect, in a police complaint on Tuesday night, accused Pramukh Swami Maharaj, and four other senior sadhus, of sexually abusing them.
In an official communiqué, Bochasanvasi Shri Aksharpurushottam Swaminarayan (BAPS) Sanstha rubbished the accusations as "demonstratively false" and "outrageous".
The two complainants – Rakesh Bhavsar (formerly, Nishkamsevadas) and Sanjay Shah (formerly, Priyadarshandas) – had drafted in detail their complaints and then submitted it as an application to PI ND Solanki of Police Control Room. A formal First Investigation Report (FIR) is yet to be filed.
The applications have been sent to Botad Police. The duo claimed in the application that they were sodomised at the BAPS Temple cum Training Centre in Sarangpur village of Barvala taluka in Botad.
It is Shah's complaint that has raised the most eyebrows; for, he has levelled direct accusations against Pramukh Swami Maharaj of unnatural sex. He alleged that Pramukh Swami performed unnatural sex on him for over 25 years – since 1975. Shah claimed to have taken diksha in 1973 when he barely 14. He claimed he was first sodomised by Sadguru Swami and then by several others, including Gyaneshwar Swami, through the years. Pramukh Swami sexually abused him repeatedly in Sarangpur and during his world tours till 1998, he alleged further.Shah claims he has written six books on Pramukh Swami and was his confidante. He was even threatened with dire consequences if he ever spilled the beans. Fearing for his life, Shah stopped going to Swaminarayan temples from November 17, 2012 and is currently in hiding. He, however, still leads an ascetic's life and can always be found dressed in saffrons.
The second complainant in the matter, Rakesh Bhavsar (42) claimed he studied in Swaminarayan Gurukul, Gondal and took diksha at Sarangpur (November 1990). He was 18 then. Bhavsar, in the complaint, claimed that Pramukh Swami gave him diksha and inducted him as Sadhu Nishkamsevadas.
He remained at Sarangpur till 1995 and was then to Shahibaug-based BAPS temple – at behest of senior saint, Ishwarcharandas. During his initial days there, Ishwarcharandas ordered Bhavsar to massage his feet and then allegedly made physical advances.
Bhavsar alleged Ishwarcharandas then started exploiting him in the name of full-body massage in his officer on the third floor of the temple. Bhavsar even accuses the senior saint of forcing oral sex on him.
He has also accused sadhus Viveksagar and Gyaneshwar of sodomy till upto 2005.
Bhavsar claims that he had complained with Pramukh Swami about the exploitation, but the supreme leader ignored his pleas. He quit the ascetic life on February 2, 2007 and went back to a social life. He is married now but he claimed he cannot forget what happened to him at BAPS.
When asked about the fate of their application, PSI CA Parmar of Barvala claimed he is yet to receive any application in the matter. It is believed cops will take their call after studying the complaints in detail.
The allegations
Sanjay Shah (Priyadarshandas) has levelled direct accusations against Pramukh Swami Maharaj of unnatural sex. He alleged that Pramukh Swami performed unnatural sex on him for over 25 years – since 1975. Shah claimed to have taken diksha in 1973 when he barely 14. He claimed he was first sodomised by Sadguru Swami and then by several others, including Gyaneshwar Swami, through the years. Pramukh Swami sexually abused him repeatedly in Sarangpur and during his world tours till 1998, he further alleged.

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