We went to Sanatan Sanstha ashram on our own: UP sisters

Mumbai: Two sisters from Uttar Pradesh today rubbished allegations that they were "hypnotised" and "confined" by Sanatan Sanstha in their ashram and claimed they were staying there on their own volition.

Addressing a press conference here, Preeti and Priya Chourasya said they went to the ashram (whose location they did not reveal) to escape "intense torture" at the hands of their parents.

"I and my sister (Priya) are staying in the ashram of Sanstha without any pressures of force. We were neither hypnotised nor confined by the Sanstha members," said Preeti.

"Due to intense torture and harassment from our parents, who wanted me to marry a rich person by changing name, I and my sister decided to run away from home and go to some NGO or person who would help us and give us shelter," said Preeti.

She expressed sadness over the slew of allegations made against the Goa-headquartered right-wing outfit, who she claimed, helped her and Priya by providing them shelter.

Explaining how they got in touch with the group, Priya said, "We had come across Sanstha's information through a local newspaper in UP. This led us to get in touch with a person in Mumbai's Sion area, who introduced us to Ishwarprasad Khandelwal, a Sanstha member."

"In the ashram, we are taught spirituality (sadhna), which makes us strong and prepares us to fight the obstacles in life," the sisters said, explaining the reasons for getting associated with the organisation, whose member has been arrested for the murder of CPI leader Govind Pansare.

The duo said they wish to remain associated with the Sanstha and not return to their home in UP. Meanwhile, Swati Aadbhai, a woman who has also joined Sanstha, expressed her desire to remain with the organisation.
"I am a doctor and have a good knowledge of science. So no one can hypnotise me. I have joined Sanstha on my own wish and will stay in their ashram," she said.

Speaking to PTI, Khandelwal and Sanjeev Punalekar, Sanstha's lawyer, said, "We are going to file a case against people who are levelling such baseless and false allegations (related to hypnotism and illegal confinement) against us."

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