British-Indian cult leader under trial for rape, abuse

London, Nov 17 (IANS) An Indian-origin Maoist cult leader is under trial on the charges of “psychologically stripping”, raping and forcing women to perform degrading sex acts in London, a media report said.

Aravindan Balakrishnan appeared in court on Monday over allegations of sexually abusing a woman by “using mind control to psychologically strip her, rape and force her to perform degrading sex acts” at his house in Brixton district in pre-arranged sessions, the Daily Mail reported.

Known as “Comrade Bala” in London, the leader has denied the charges of four counts of rape and seven of indecent assault.

He also denied three counts of actual bodily harm, cruelty to a child under 16 and false imprisonment in the 1970s and 1980s.

The alleged victim, who was a follower of the leader, escaped in 1989, but did not speak about the alleged abuse until she went to the police in 2013, the report said.

The victim, now 64, told the Southwark Crown Court in London how the now 75-year-old Bala “took over my mind”.

She said that he allegedly groomed and raped her and forced her to keep explicit sex diaries that he shared with the rest of his sect in a bid to humiliate her, the court heard.

Balakrishnan, the leader of a far-Left group in Brixton, was also accused of treating women “like animals”.

The victim said she never opposed to this because she thought the treatment meant she was “being taken up a level in the revolution”.

“His authority was so complete, you never thought about resisting and saying ‘I don’t want to go in, I don’t want this to happen’. We were like animals being trained,” she added.

The court heard that she had first met Balakarishnan at a demonstration when she was 23. She soon became entranced by him and joined his “Worker’s Institute”.

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