KANPUR: Police on Sunday arrested the mahant of Divyanand Ashram, who is the sixth accused in the murder of a Dalit girl at the ashram in Kabba Khera area of Unnao district in December 2021.

The mother of the deceased had accused Mahant Vinodanand Mishra of Divyanand Ashram of being involved in the crime.

Police on Sunday arrested the mahant and sent him to jail on charges of gang rape, murder, kidnapping and destruction of evidence.

The 22-year-old Dalit girl had gone missing from Kotwali police station area of Unnao district on December 8, 2021. The girl’s mother had lodged a complaint against one Rajol Singh, son of late Fateh Bahadur Singh, a former minister in the Samajwadi Party government, accusing him of kidnapping her daughter and then murdering her.

On January 24, the girl’s mother attempted self-immolation in front of SP chief Akhilesh Yadav’s convoy in Lucknow demanding justice.
On January 25, Rajol was arrested and sent to jail. On February 10, the SWAT team recovered the girl’s body from the plot next to the former minister’s ashram. Thereafter, one more accused Suraj, was arrested. After sending Suraj and Rajol to jail, police also arrested Rajol’s elder brother, former block chief Ashok Singh, Sanjay Savita, Kanshi Ram and Rinki and sent them to jail.

CO (city) Kripa Shankar said, “Mahant Vinodanand Mishra of Divyanand Ashram was arrested on Sunday. He was sent to jail after a medical examination at district hospital.”