A 52-year-old self-styled godman from Kerala is on the run, after he allegedly sexually abused minor boys for over a month.
Swami Sreenarayana Dharmavratha, the madathipathi (secretary) of Sivagiri madom in Thrissur's Kuttanellur, has been accused of allegedly sexually abusing minor boys at the ashram.
He fled after three minor boys - aged 12, 13 and 14 - revealed that they were being sexually abused by the seer.
Aloor police, who are investigating the case, have booked the Swami Sreenarayana Dharmavratha under sections 3 read with 4 (penetrative sexual assault), section 7 read with 8 (Sexual assault) of POCSO and section 377 (unnatural offences) of the IPC. The abuse came to light when three boys reached out to the district Childline officials.
"The boys went to school and called up the Childline officials. They reached the school, recorded the children's statements and shifted them to a care home. When we went to the ashram, the Swami had already fled. He must have gotten suspicious when the boys did not return," the SI said.
According to the statements given by the three boys, they were being sexually abused by the Swami for more than a month. The police believe that more boys who used to stay at the ashram previously, were also subjected to sexual abuse.
"10 boys who belong to underprivileged families stayed in this ashram. A month ago, seven of them vacated and went back to stay with their families. We suspect that these boys could have been abused too. We are investigating the case and will soon nab the accused," the SI said.
Apart from the Swami, there were four staff members who used to live at the ashram. While the police say that there are no complaints or criminal cases registered against the seer previously, they will also look into his antecedents.