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Krishna monks abused pupils

THE HARE KRISHNA movement has acknowledged in its official journal that sexual, physical and emotional abuse was once prevalent at its boarding schools for children, The New York Times said yesterday.

It detailed the abuse of children in the care of Hare Krishna monks and young followers at schools in the United States and in India during the 1970s and 1980s. Parents were unaware of the abuse.

Ten former Krishna pupils first confronted leaders of the movement at a meeting in May 1996, saying they had been regularly beaten, caned and denied medical care at school. Some said they were forced into homosexual sex at knifepoint.

Anuttama Dasa, speaking for the International Society of Krishna Consciousness, said the movement needed to investigate the claims and "do whatever we can to try to repair the damage to the kids and show them we do care".