Self-styled godman Virendra Dev Dixit, who is presently absconding from the CBI and the Delhi High Court, has reportedly surfaced in Andhra Pradesh's Tadepalligudem in West Godavari district.
This came to light after residents of the area moved the Hyderabad High Court, alleging suspicious activity during late hours at a centre set up by him, adding that several women from the district had become 'captives' of the accused, the Times of India reported.
The ToI report adds that the Hyderabad HC directed the West Godavari Police Superintendent on Thursday to file a report on the activities taking place at the centre.
This development came even as the Delhi High Court on Thursday barred Rohini-based ashram Adhyatmik Vishwa Vidyalaya from representing itself as "Vishwa Vidyalaya" and directed the CBI to follow all possible steps to trace Virendra Dev Dixit.
As per the UGC Act, "University" means an institute established or incorporated by or under a central act, a provincial act or a state act.
The court said the use of expression "Vishwa Vidyalaya" by the ashram violated law.
The court also directed Delhi Police to facilitate a meeting of the family members of the women and girls illegally confined in the ashram and listed the matter for March 15.
The entire issue came to light last year, when the court was hearing a plea filed by NGO Foundation for Social Empowerment.
In December 2017, the court appointed a committee for inspecting the institute and directed an officer, not below the rank of Deputy Commissioner of Police, to conduct an inspection of the ashram.
Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal was also asked to accompany the police during the inspection.
The committee had told the court that the girls and women were kept in the ashram in "unhygienic and animal-like conditions with no privacy even for bathing".
Following this, the CBI registered three cases against Dixit for allegedly keeping several women and minor girls hostage at his ashram. He has been absconding since.