Religious storyteller Mahant Sitaram Das accused of raping minor in Rewa, arrested

Mahant Sitaram Das, alias Samarth Tripathi, one of the accused in rape of a 17-year-old girl in Madhya Pradesh's Rewa district has been arrested, police said on Thursday.
Mahant Sitaram Das
Mahant Sitaram DasIANS

NEW DELHI: Das, who was absconding after the incident, was arrested from Singrauli district and brought to Rewa.

According to police, Das's mobile was put on surveillance and his last location was traced in Singrauli, around 150 km farm Rewa. Singrauli district police was alerted and he was arrested from a salon.

He had gone to a salon to get his long hair cut short to change his appearance. However, police reached the location and arrested him. Das is a religious storyteller and was in Rewa to oversee the preparation of Vedanti Maharaj (his grandfather)'s week-long religious event - Hanuman Katha which was scheduled to be held from April 1 to 10.

"We have arrested two of the accused. One was arrested earlier and another called Mahant Sitaram Das, alias Samarth Tripathi was arrested this morning. We are searching for two others who are absconding. Further investigation is underway," a senior police official in Rewa district told IANS over phone.

The development came hours after Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who during a visit to Rewa on Wednesday, asked Superintendent of Police (SP) Navneet Bhaseen to take strict action against those involved in the case.

Chouhan had also directed district collector Manoj Pushp to use bulldozers to demolish houses of all accused in involved in rape case.

The incident allegedly took place in circuit house - a government-run luxury guest house -- located at the district headquarters on March 28. The victim, a student at Government Degree College for Girls (GDC) in Rewa, was allegedly taken to circuit house by one of her known friends saying that a person would help her score well in the exam. There she was forced to consume liquor and was gang-raped.

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