Ahmedabad, February 16: Sex, lies and videotape…the sex-on-CD scandal has all the ingredients of a potboiler and with Tuesday’s arrest of one of the priests who figured on a compact disc in a compromising position along with three others who masterminded the filming, the story’s getting murkier and murkier.
The probe by the Detection of Crime Branch has turned up several facts:
The dramatis personae were four priests and seven other persons who had planned and funded the operation. The CDs were shot at two Swaminarayan (Vadtal sect) temples in Junagadh and Bharuch and two private premises in Ahmedabad and Surat.
The three women who figured on the CDs told police during interrogation that they’d been lured with the promise that they would give birth to a male child.
Those arrested have been identified as Durlabhji Ramnikbhai Aaswadia aka Sadhu Bhaktiswaroop Guruswami Govindprasad Dasji, a priest at the Swaminarayan temple at Junagadh, and three followers of the sect — Mansukh Bhagat, Thakarshi Patel and Karsan Patel. DCB officials also seized pornography material in the form of books and playing cards from the residence of Sadhu Bhaktiswaroop.
All the four have been booked under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code, Information Technology Act and the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act and will be produced before a metropolitan magistrate on Wednesday where DCB will seek their remand.
Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) D G Vanjara said the DCB had on January 29 received an anonymous complaint regarding the scandal and based on this, investigations were made. Vanjara said they had identified the three women who were on the compact discs and their interrogration revealed that they had been lured by the other accused into establishing physical relations with the priests with the promise that they would give birth to a male child. ‘‘All the women are married and wanted a son. The accused, who masterminded and funded the entire operation, made them establish physical contact with this promise,’’ said Vanjara. He said the identity of the women would not be disclosed as they are witnesses.
Though Vanjara refused to comment on whether any head priests were involved in the scandal, he said the motive behind the film was rivalry between two factions of the Swaminarayan (Vadtal) sect. ‘‘We also suspect that some of the accused wanted to make a quick buck by way of videotaping the priests though we are still investigating as to how much money was spent on the operation and how much was earned by circulating copies of the compact discs,’’ said Vanjara.
Vanjara said that the investigation had also revealed that it was the women who planted the video cameras in the rooms where the priests were caught in the act. ‘‘But did not find evidence of the women either hatching or executing the conspiracy,’’ said Vanjara. DCB officials claimed that they had identified the Bharuch-based priest while the other two priests are yet to be identified. DCB officials claimed that the other accused had also been identified and would soon be nabbed.
Feb. 16, 2005