A popular LGBT activist Divya Dureja has been accused of wrongful confinement and sexual assault by a yoga trainer named Elodie Gendron.
The incident came to light when Elodie who identifies herself as a ‘queer’ took to Instagram to share her ordeal. In a post uploaded on Sunday (February 27), the victim wrote, “Last week, I was abducted, assaulted, and sexually molested by an Indian acclaimed psychologist, TEDx speaker, LGBTQ Activist, and Mental Health Advocate: Divya Dureja.” She informed that although she was initially hesitant about calling out her perpetrator online, the victim felt that the move was necessary in the larger interest of the LGBT community.
Elodie said that she was contacted on Instagram by Divya. They then decided to meet for lunch on February 23 (Tuesday), along with another friend, at Sea View Resort in Ashwem in North Goa. “Divya asked me to come to her room to help her with her hair. Under the false pretext of helping me with my chronicle back pain, she drugged me and locked me in her room for 6 hours, where she forcefully performed a so-called shamanic ritual, claiming we were meant since our past lives to be reunited, and that this ritual was what we needed to be together forever,” the victim narrated.
“After confining her in the room, Divya continued with her assault. She forced me to drink one full liter of water without interruption, to clean myself from negative energies. She then pulled me from behind forcing me to burb, yelling ‘you can do it, baby’. Following this, she obliged me to close my eyes and to stand against the wall. It lasted for four hours, and every time I tried to open my eyes, she started to scream very loudly,” the victim added.
Accused Divya digitally penetrated the victim
Under the pretext of performing a shamanic ritual, the accused went about her sexual assault. Elodie said, “I was terrified, in shock, and under the influence of the drug she’d given me. I could not move or do anything to defend myself.” After about 4 hours, the victim was allowed to lay on her bed. “She, then forcefully introduced her hand in my vagina, for long minutes, getting deeper and deeper, regardless of the physical pain she was inflicting me, claiming she was planting a tree,” the victim recounted.
FIR registered, accused in custody
She wrote, “As the effects of the drugs finally were evaporating, I told her I wanted to leave, and she screamed ‘No baby, no baby. Let’s make love.’ Finally, she started yelling ‘the spirit allows me to let you go, you can leave.’ And I could leave the room, in shock.” Elodie drove to her friend’s house in Arambol who then took her to the Pernem police station, where a First Information Report (No.33/2021) was registered. Divya was booked under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Sections 342 (wrongful confinement) and 354 (sexual assault).
The victim informed that Divya was arrested on February 25 by the police. Elodie is now recovering from the scars of the assault. Expressing her deep-seated fears, she wrote, “She’s (Divya) been arrested but I fear she will eventually be freed on bail and might assault someone else.” The victim lamented that although several waiters and even the owner heard her screams, they did not come to her rescue.
Elodie has been living in India for some time and has completed 500-hour coursework in ‘Hatha, Vinyasa & Ashtanga’ from Yoga teacher training school in AlakhYog. She was fascinated by the public profile of Divya Dureja, without realising the ‘predatory behaviour’ of the activist. Interestingly, Divya had once told Quint, “The important part is that it (lovemaking/sex) is consensual, communicative and a positive experience for all involved. At no point should there be any coercion felt or a purposely induced feeling of being ‘less/incomplete’.”