Kochi: The controversial Gharvapsi centre, alleged to be a torture centre for those who had converted to non-Hindu religions, has resumed functioning under a new name. The centre which earlier functioned in Kandanad with the name Arsha Vidyakendra, is now reconstituted at Choorakkad under the name Sadan Shakti Kendram. The otherday, a Palakkad native girl tried to escape from the centre and the locals saved her. People came to know about the centre after the incident.
The girl was brought to the centre to stop her from converting. When she ran away from the centre, the locals including some women stopped her and informed the police. In between, the office-bearers of the centre tried to take the girl by force which the local people foiled. The police took the girl to the station and handed her over to the parents. The police haven’t registered a case against the centre. The police say that a case was not registered as there was no complaint.
The centre is working at Choorakkad in two double-storeyed rented buildings. The locals say that many people in vehicles were seen visiting the centre including at night. The centre is being operated by the same people who had run a similar centre in Kandanad.
Manoj Guruji, who had headed the previous centre, is still leading the operations. At least 42 girls had revealed the torture they underwent at Arsha Vidyakendra at Kandanad. The centre was shut down after the revelations.
Swaraj MLA said that a complaint has been sent to the chief minister and detailed probe is needed in this regard. DYFI staged a protest march towards the centre.
Meanwhile, president of the Solidarity Movement Nahaz Mala alleged that the government and police were deliberately closing their eyes, for letting the Ghar vapsi centre function again. While about a hundred women were tortured for religious conversion, the court had asked for a special inquiry, but the police and the government failed to take the required steps.
Nahaz also said that despite clear statements by victims about the perpetrators, the police did not move against them, and the same group of people are running the new centre after renaming it. He demanded that the government and police should stop the hide and seek and intervene in the matter urgently.