NEW DELHI — The Central Bureau of Investigation Jan. 3 registered three cases against molestation-accused 'godman' Baba Virendra Dev Dixit for allegedly keeping several women and minor girls hostage at his ashram here.

The agency took over the case from Delhi Police following the Delhi High Court's Dec. 22 order directing the agency to trace Dixit, who is accused of sexually assaulting women and girls illegally confined at his Adhyatmik Vishwavidyalaya ashram in north Delhi's Rohini and other places.

"We have filed three cases against Baba Virendra Dev Dixit on Delhi High Court's direction," a CBI official said. 

The CBI has formed a team, headed by a superintendent of police, to probe the alleged sexual exploitation and confinement charges, the official said.

The illegal activities surfaced in December last year when around 100 women and minor girls were rescued from his ashrams where they were locked up behind metal doors. 

Dixit went missing after Delhi Police filed an First Information Report against him. 

The Delhi High Court ordered the CBI to investigate the case, saying it had "no confidence in police" after they failed to take action on about 10 FIRs lodged against the ashram in Rohini and its members.

It ordered the CBI to seize all records relating to FIRs lodged and entries in the "daily diary" maintained by police in connection with alleged rapes and suicides of women at the Ashram. The High Court had asked Dixit to be present before it Jan. 4.

The court also ordered a committee, which included Delhi Commission for Women Chairperson Swati Maliwal, to conduct an inspection of the ashram. It also ordered the Child Welfare Committee chairperson concerned, along with the committee, to take step in accordance with the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act.

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