The rooms are dark and dingy and a revolting stink emanates from the heaps of soiled clothes, dirty bed-sheets and torn linen on the windows and doors of the desolate three-storey building of Anbu Jothi Ashram for mentally ill and destitute persons at Kundalapuliyur near Vikravandi in Villupuram district.
The Ashram, sited off the Villupuram-Gingee Highway, is the only concrete structure in the locality among the swathes of parched field and isolated houses.
The unlicensed home for the mentally challenged and destitute people was shut down after government authorities raided the premises following reports of torture, rape and suspected human trafficking.
Following several complaints, the police department conducted a raid and found that the inmates have been physically and sexually assaulted. In addition to this, more than 20 people in the ashram have disappeared so far.
In this regard, nine accused including ashram owner Jubin Baby, his wife Maria Jubin and seven ashram staff, were arrested and taken to the Cuddalore Central Jail.
The Villupuram Chief Judicial magistrate Court Judge Pushparani ordered three days custody for Jubin, his wife, and the staff members. Following this, the police are probing the accused individually regarding the details of missing people, rape complaints and also the number of inmates in the ashram.
Meanwhile, the authorities have rescued 177 people from the Anbu Jothi Ashram and 25 from its branch operating in Kottakuppam.