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Spiritual guru completes police questioning, denies allegation

Jakarta Post: Spiritual guru Anand Krishna, reported by his former students for allegedly sexually harassing them, completed Monday a nine-hour questioning session with the police, again insisting he was not guilty in the case.

”[During the questioning], I clarified the misleading information the police obtained from their witnesses,” Anand said. “The accusations against me are wrong.”

Investigators from the city police’s women and children protection division began questioning Anand from 9 a.m. until 6:20 p.m.

Anand said the investigators had asked him to answer more than 70 questions, mostly directed to confirm testimonies from six witnesses the police had earlier questioned.

Anand is a well-known spiritualist who runs two schools in Jakarta and Bali .

The case began when Tara Pradipta Laksmi, 19, a former student of Anand’s meditation classes, reported the case to the police last month.

Tara said she was touched without her consent because she was hypnotized by Anand when the molestation took place, leaving her unable to refuse his advances.

As evidence, Tara’s lawyers submitted a video to the police showing Anand indoctrinating their client. The lawyers also presented offensive emails that Anand had allegedly sent her to the police.

Sumida, Anand’s former employee, and three other women made similar accusations against Anand.
Anand, however, repeatedly denied this accusation, saying that his center “only practiced meditation, not hypnosis.”

He also said he did not have a relation with Tara, although she shared her family problems with him. Earlier this month, Anand said that he met Tara after she joined L’Ayurveda, his holistic health and meditation center in 2007, while her mother had joined in 2000.

“From the end of 2008 to May 2009, Tara acted as L’Ayurveda’s youth coordinator,” he said. Anand said he did not believe there was an issue between him and Tara. However, when asked to elaborate, he told reporters to “ask Tara’s lawyers”.

After Monday’s questioning, Anand’s lawyer, Darwin Aritonang, said he felt certain the police would close the case. “There is no evidence that can prove our client is guilty of molestation,” he said.

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