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A Hindu holy man meditates on the banks of the holy Ganges River in Varanasi.

India is a mecca for people seeking spiritual gurus, but instead of reaching enlightenment, some devotees become victims of horrific crimes.

Behind the scenes: There are tens of thousands of gurus across the country, many spearheading charitable programs that benefit their communities. But there has also been a spate of criminal cases against powerful gurus, including one of the country's most powerful: Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. An Al Jazeera investigation reveals a seedy world of sexual abuse and accusations of murder and mass castration within the walls of his ashram.

Anshul Chhatrapati  says his father, a journalist, was murdered after publishing a letter in his newspaper that accused Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh of rape. For the past 11 years, the Central Bureau of Investigation has assigned Anshul an armed bodyguard.

“What more can they do to us? There’s nothing more valuable than life, and that they’ve already taken.”
— Anshul Chhatrapati

Singh, who has been convicted of sexually assaulting two female followers, denies the allegations against him. His spokesman, Prakash Singh Salwara, says: “I never saw anything that indicated that a crime had been committed."

Go deeper: Watch the full report from Al Jazeera's 101 East.

Go deeper

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
18 mins ago - Health

Overturning Roe could strain abortion access even in blue states

The Supreme Court is reflected in a woman's sunglasses during a march Oct. 2. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, abortions could be harder to access even in states where they remain legal, because those clinics could be flooded with patients from states that have cracked down.

The big picture: This has happened before, and clinics fear the crush of demand would be a major problem in the immediate wake of a decision that would allow states to ban abortion.

A critical race theory founder says he's being inundated with threats

Richard Delgado. Photo: Courtesy of Richard Delgado

Richard Delgado, one of the founders of the critical race theory movement, tells Axios he and his wife have been receiving a steady stream of threatening messages since the coordinated, conservative campaign against critical race theory began.

Why it matters: Educators across the country — even some elementary school teachers — have faced harassment and threats over the past year over lesson plans that teach about system racism in the U.S.

Burnout, money, concern drive Harris turnover

Vice President Kamala Harris and another potential 2024 presidential candidate, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, appeared together Thursday in Charlotte, N.C. Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images

Burnout, better opportunities and concern about being permanently branded a "Harris person" is driving some of the turnover in Vice President Kamala Harris's office, people familiar with the situation tell Axios.

Why it matters: Harris is not only a heartbeat from the presidency but, by virtue of her office, the presumed 2024 frontrunner if President Biden doesn't seek re-election. There's been an inordinate amount of disarray — and, now, turnover — throughout her tenure.

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