Nawada, Jan 12 (PTI) Three sadhvis were allegedly gangraped at an ashram in Bihar’s Nawada district and its ‘sanchalak’ (head) is among the accused, the police said today.

The sanchalak and the other accused by the sadhvis are absconding and police are on the look out for them, the police said.

District superintendent of police Vikas Barman said that according to an FIR lodged by the three sadhvis they were allegedly gangraped by the ‘sanchalak’ of Sant Kutir Ashram and about 12 of his men on December 4, 2017.

The FIR was lodged against the ashram head Tapasyanand and the others allegedly involved in the crime on Wednesday (January 10, 2018), he said.

Tapsyanand had been charged with raping sadhvis at an ashram in Basti district of Uttar Pradesh too. He fled from there and took shelter at the Sant Kurit Ashram here, which has been functioning for the past seven to eight years, after Basti police started searching for him in the case, the SP said.

The Basti police raided the ashram here on Thali Mor on January 9 but Tapasyanand managed to give the slip again, SP said.

The incident came to light yesterday when the three women were taken to the sadar hospital for medical examination yesterday.

The matter is being investigated, SP said adding that police are conducting raids to nab the accused.

The Ashram has been sealed and nobody is being allowed to enter its premises.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.