PETALING JAYA: Maoist cult leader Aravindan Balakrishnan who held a Malaysian woman among others captive for decades, has died in a British prison six years after being convicted for rape, sexual assault, child cruelty and false imprisonment.
Aravindan, also known as “Comrade Bala”, died on Friday (April 8) at the age of 81, reported the BBC.
Aravindan brainwashed his cult into thinking he had godlike powers. He gained infamy for keeping several women captive at a house in London.
One of them was a Malaysian, Siti Aishah Wahab, who was freed by the police in October 2013 after living under him for more than three decades.
Aishah was said to be a brilliant student who worked her way up to earn a scholarship to study in London in the late 60s.
The Negri Sembilan native reportedly moved to the United Kingdom in 1968 with her fiance after a fallout with her family.
Aravindan was born in Kerala, India, and raised in Singapore before moving to London in 1963.
He had called himself a “revolutionary socialist” and used his fervent speeches to recruit fellow students, including Malaysian nurses, for his cause.
The BBC said Aravindan’s political collective was infamous in London for its extreme views.
He established the Workers’ Institute of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought in the 1970s in south London and convinced his followers into thinking he could read their minds.
It was reported that Aravindan’s daughter spent her whole life imprisoned in the commune until the age of 30.
His daughter said she was ruled by her father, who insisted on being called Comrade Bala.
She escaped in October 2013 and told police she was regularly beaten by her father.
It was reported that he lied to her, claiming her father was a dead freedom fighter and that her mother died in childbirth.
Her mother was, however, inside the commune with her until she died in 1997 after falling from a window.