Taking steps to arrest absconding self-styled preacher Virender Dixit:CBI tells Delhi HC

Taking steps to arrest absconding self-styled preacher Virender Dixit:CBI tells Delhi HC

New Delhi, Nov 24 (PTI) The CBI on Friday told the Delhi High Court it was taking steps to secure the arrest of absconding self-styled spiritual preacher Virender Dev Dixit who is facing rape charges.

After perusing a status report filed by the investigating agency in a sealed cover, a bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Manmohan observed that the CBI was making 'ernest efforts' to comply with the court's directions to take action against Dixit who has been absconding for several years.

'He appears to be outside India. We will arrest him soon. We have taken help of Interpol,' counsel for CBI told the bench, also comprising Justice Mini Pushkarna.

The high court was hearing a 2017 petition filed by NGO Foundation for Social Empowerment, represented by lawyer Sravan Kumar, alleging that several minors and women were illegally confined at Dixit's 'spiritual university' -- Adhyatmik Vishwa Vidhyalaya, Rohini and were not allowed to meet their parents.

The bench asked the CBI to file a fresh status report in the matter.

On May 31, it had directed the CBI to take steps for arresting Dixit after it was brought to its notice that Dixit or his followers were uploading various videos on at least six YouTube channels and social media handles and that a large number of videos are being uploaded from March 2018.

The high court had earlier asked the CBI to trace the founder of the ashram Dixit and directed the agency to probe the alleged illegal confinement of girls and women in the ashram where it was claimed they were kept in 'animal-like' conditions behind metal doors in a 'fortress' surrounded by barbed wire.

The CBI had then assured the high court that all efforts were being made to ascertain the whereabouts of Dixit and that raids were carried out at his farm houses and ashrams and special teams were constituted to arrest him.

On September 12, the court had said that CBI was free to freeze the bank accounts Dixit. PTI ADS ZMN

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