Horrors of Christian couple’s Anbu Jothi Ashram: Tales of rape, torture and much more<

Anbu Jothi Ashram, a rehabilitation home in Kundalapuliyur, Villupuram in Tamil Nadu, which has been in operation for the last 17 years without a permit or any type of government monitoring, has been in the eye of a storm following the rescue of 142 people from there. 109 men and 33 women were among the people rescued from the cult.

On December 17, 2022, Salim Khan, a US citizen, filed a case with the Madras high court asking the authorities to take action after learning that his father-in-law Jawahirullah went missing from the Ashram. Following the complaint, the horrifying tales of rape and torture of the inmates came to light.

Allegations of human rights violations against the ashram include sexual assault, rape, violence, human trafficking, and torture. With the promise of three meals per day and a secure place to stay, the facility attracted homeless people. Many were allegedly sedated and tonsured later to give the impression that they had mental health issues.

Jawahirullah was reportedly admitted to Anbu Jothi Ashram on December 4, 2021, however, he later disappeared from there. Salim asked the ashram employees about his father-in-law, and they informed him that he had been sent to another facility in Bengaluru that was also purportedly associated with Anbu Jothi.

When a Tamil Nadu police team went there for investigation, the director of the Bengaluru residence, Raju alias Auto Raja, said that the elderly man and a few others escaped from the property by smashing open a bathroom window. Afterward, Salim petitioned the Madras High Court (HC) for a writ of habeas corpus in an effort to locate Jawahirullah.

As soon as the HC gave cops the go-ahead to search for and find the missing person, they discovered hundreds of victims in the ashram. Police officers and volunteers were able to rescue up to 142 persons, including 109 men, 33 women, and a boy.

Images of children tied up in the Anbu Jothi Ashram (Source: Newsminute)

It was revealed that some prisoners had been sexually molested by staff members, while others had been tortured, shackled, and even attacked by caged monkeys. Out of the 142 people that were rescued, 130 have been accepted into a home for the needy and 12 have been returned to their families. The ashram is now blacklisted.

Two days after learning about the awful crimes, the authorities on February 13, discovered more persons had been kept imprisoned in a different location in Kottakuppam, 50 kilometers from Anbu Ashram.

After rescuing them, police learned accounts of terror similar to those from the ashram in Villupuram. They were then admitted as patients to the Government Villupuram Medical College Hospital.

N Shreenatha, the superintendent of police in Villupuram, disclosed that eight people had been arrested for violating applicable statutes, including Section 4 of the Tamil Nadu Prevention of Harassment of Women Act, 1998, and Section 376 of the Indian Criminal Code (penalty for rape). The SP stated that the police teams are also looking into the Bengaluru home where 15 people were allegedly transported from Villupuram. “Four of them have been arrested, two are absconding, and the owner and his wife are in the hospital,” the SP added.

Shreenatha added that an investigation was being carried out into the claims that the home was burying or cremating unidentifiable and unclaimed dead in remote sections of the village. He further informed that a search is being conducted for the missing residents of the Bengaluru house.

Owners attempt to escape

The officers arrested eight individuals at the ashram, including its founders, Jubin (45) and Maria (43), Christians from Kerala, as well as the warden Muthumaari, the computer operator Gopinath, the attendant Iyyappan, and the chauffeur Biju. They were apprehended on suspicion of rape, assault, and wrongful incarceration.

Jubin and Maria let two wild monkeys loose on the officials while trying to flee. The animals were kept in cages by the pair and were used to intimidate and assault the prisoners.

A native of Kerala’s Ernakulam, Jubin is also known as Anbu Jubin or Baby Jubin. In 2005, he came upon Villupuram while volunteering at a private dwelling. There are rumours that Jubin and his wife Maria established a home in a small rented space in the Periyar colony with 12 people. Later, this expanded into a space with 200 individuals.

The investigators have so far found two properties that are allegedly owned by the couple in Tamil Nadu and one in Bengaluru.

Tales of terror

Victims have narrated horrifying tales of their time inside the ashram. A woman from Odisha was brought to the institution after being ‘rescued’ from the streets by a group. “In the next five years, she was repeatedly raped, beaten up, and threatened into silence. When she tried to resist, the employees set two ferocious monkeys that the owner kept in a cage on her,” R Lalitha, a volunteer with Social Awareness Society for Youth said.

Many women were allegedly raped, shackled, and drugged with sleeping drugs.

No inspection in the unregistered home

The officials discovered that since the ashram’s establishment in 2005, there had been no inspections there. The district administration has now started action to permanently seal the ashram and all of its affiliated branches, according to Villupuram district collector C Palani.

In September of last year, the Tamil Nadu State Mental Health Authority denied Anbu Jothi Ashram’s request for a license, citing the absence of psychiatrists, doctors, sufficient staff, a sanitation certificate, lift facilities, and identification documents for inmates and social workers.

Furthermore, it was determined by the Villupuram District Differently Abled Welfare Office that the ashram did not adhere to the 2016 Rights of People with Disabilities Act’s regulations. According to the complaint, District Disability Officer C Thangavel also notified the ashram that the home would be closed if the problems were not resolved, but the ashram did not respond.

Media and networks

Anbu Jothi Ashram’s involvement with the Greater Chennai Police’s Karunai Payanam effort, which sought to locate, treat, and reunite people stranded north Indians with their families, was also exposed by a thorough investigation of the institution’s operations.

The couple built networks with pharmacists and social workers, according to the cops investigating the matter.

NCW reports at least two sexual assault instances

Kanchan Kattar, senior coordinator for the National Commission for Women (NCW), has acknowledged that there have been at least two cases of sexual assault at the ashram.

“We have constituted a committee and the inquiry is ongoing. Once the committee sends its report, we will give a more concise statement. We have constituted a committee and the inquiry is ongoing. Once the committee sends its report, we will give a more concise statement.” NCW also met women victims of the ashram at the hospital.

Meanwhile, K. Balakrishnan, the state secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), has urged the Tamil Nadu administration to appoint a special committee to investigate all of the ashrams and residences in the state.

The Crime Branch of the Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID) has taken up the case’s investigation, in the interim.

The investigating agency will also look into the human trafficking aspect while investigating the ashram.

Source: OpIndia

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