An “Ojha,” or exorcist, was recently denied bail by the Allahabad High Court on charges that he raped a fifteen-year-old girl while ostensibly providing religious healing.
After giving it some thought, the bench of Justice Sameer Jain decided that Hanuman Ram was not eligible for bail, highlighting the seriousness of the accusations brought against him.
According to the charges, the victim and the accused were alone in a room when the accused sexually assaulted her.
During the trial, the accused filed an application for bail under Sections 376 (3) and 506 of the IPC and Section 3/4(2) of the POCSO Act at the Balua Police Station in District Chandauli.
The victim’s father filed a formal complaint (FIR) on July 13, 2023, claiming that his 15-year-old daughter was ill and that he invited the accused, a “Ojha,” to his home. There, the accused raped the girl under the guise of a religious ceremony.
But in front of the top court, the accused’s attorney maintained that every accusation against him was completely untrue and without merit.
He stated that the informant and the accused were close relatives and that the informant had borrowed money from the accused. He further stated that a disagreement only developed between the two of them as a result of the loan’s non-payment, and that’s why the informant filed a false complaint of rape against the accused in the current case.
He also asserted that the victim was under pressure from her parents to make accusations against the accused because she was just 15 years old and that the medical report refuted the allegation of rape.
The Additional Government Advocate opposed the bail request, arguing that it was clear from both of the statements made under Sections 161 and 164 of the CrPC that the accused had abused his position.
The offender was determined by the court to be ineligible for bail release. It did, however, make clear that the observations made during the bail plea would not affect the main case’s merits at trial.
The unquestioning confidence that these gurus’ followers gave upon them used to be a crucial factor in their ability to escape scrutiny. It seems like their strategy was to acquire religion and notoriety first, then take advantage of those things to harass women. Even if I don’t really believe in godmen, I nevertheless get sad whenever I hear about crimes and dishonesty of this kind. They not only abuse their authority but also demolish the significance and worth of faith.
Knowing how these gurus abuse women’s faith, deceive them, and abuse it for years is heartbreaking. These women are unable to speak up for two reasons: first, they don’t think they are being mistreated in the first place, and second, if they disagreed with a widely accepted religious viewpoint, no one would actually believe them.
How irrational faith can result in misconduct
In our nation, religion has devolved into a blind faith. Under the cover of religion, society makes several ignorant mistakes. And at the top of the list is believing in such dishonest men. The blind faith that society has in pandits, maulvis, and ojhas makes it unwilling to accept any criticism levelled against them. Because faith is so blind, it is now more vital to oppose consensual PDA in places of worship than it is to oppose rape on the same hallowed grounds. Indeed. I refer to the couple that suffered abuse in Uttar Pradesh as a result of PDA in a house of worship. However, it took days for people to believe and bring charges against the religious men who had gang-raped a Muslim girl in the same state beneath a house of worship.
However, the ruling by the Allahabad court gives us optimism that things are starting to change. that people are starting to remove their blindfolds and examine these godmen critically. We hope that the movement to defend women against the misguided notions of religion doesn’t fade.