Spiritual leader Anand Giri arrested for sexual assault of two women in Australia; court refuses bail

Spiritual leader and yoga guru Anand Giri was on arrested in Australia on Sunday for sexually assaulting two women on two separate occasions, during prayer meetings at their houses.

 Spiritual leader Anand Giri arrested for sexual assault of two women in Australia; court refuses bail

Swami Anand Giri. Facebook

Anand, who is a mahant at the Bade Hanuman temple in Uttar Pradesh's Prayagraj, was picked up from Oxley Park suburbs to the west of Sydney, the Australian news portal SBS has reported.

The 38-year-old yoga expert had been on a six-week tour of Australia, which was scheduled to end on Monday, a day after he was held.

The New South Wales Police, in a press release, said that Anand (who is not named in the release but referred to as "man") met a 29-year-old women in the suburb of Rooty Hill at her house for prayers in 2016 and indecently assaulted her there.

In November, 2018, Anand assaulted a 34-year-old woman living in the same neighbourhood during a prayer meet at her house. Both women knew Anand prior to the assaults.

Charged on two counts, Anand is set to appear at the Mt Druitt Local Court on 26 June and will be remanded in police custody until then. He was refused bail at Parramatta Bail Court on Sunday.

Akhil Bhartiya Akhada Parishad president Narendra Giri confirmed the arrest to Hindustan Times. Narendra, however, told the newspaper that the women, who are of south Indian origin, had fallen out over an issue with Anand and were intent upon framing him this way. "Our people in Australia are in contact with authorities and a bail application has again been filed," Narendra was quoted by HT as having said.

Anand's Facebook account has photographs of him with the likes of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu and Union minister VK Singh among others.

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Updated Date: May 08, 2019 10:28:27 IST