Counselling of 67 girls, found in a police raid on an ashram being run in a hotel in Rajasthan's Rajsamand, has been of no avail as they are unwilling to answer any questions about themselves and seem "hypnotised", a child rights panel member said on Thursday.
"The girls from different parts of the country were found on Wednesday and sent to Balika Grah. Now, we are conducting counselling of these girls, but not all is okay with them. They seem to be hypnotised.
"They don't want to speak on any subject. They are neither asking for food nor are speaking the facts but instead screaming at us saying they have been here on their own wish and will," said Bhavna Paliwal, a member of the Children Welfare Committee.
She added that there is no registration paper of this ashram, being run in a hotel hall, or information as to who runs it and no records of girls are available in the premises.
Paliwal said that a few people have approached them claiming to be the parents of some of the girls but they cannot be trusted and are suspected to be the owners of the ashram.
Presently, the Children Welfare Committee, Childline and Balika Grah are together counselling these girls, while there is a strict vigil by police outside.
Paliwal said that what triggered further suspicion is the statement of one girl's father from Dholpur who said that someone hypnotised his daughter three years back and she left her home.
"She is now 14 and doesn't want to return. He also doesn't know who runs this ashram," she said.
Police sources told IANS that they have been informed that these girls are connected to Prajapati Sanstha situated on Abu Road and have come here to learn spiritual education and the matter is being investigated.
Meanwhile, Paliwal said that if the girls are here for so many days, they need to register their whereabouts with the hotel or with the administration, but there are no records available.
"Why have they left their education and are learning only spirituality in this shady place," she asked.
She also said that the girls will stay in Balika Grah for counselling till something concrete is learnt about their antecedents.
Meanwhile, some residents said that these girls might have shifted from rape-accused Daati Baba's Ashram, but police said this could only be found out after due investigation.