Asaram gets clean chit in death of two children in his ashram

Gujarat Global News Network, Ahmedabad

The Justice D K Trivedi commission which probed the death of two children in ashram run by self styled Godman Asaram Bapu has given clean chit to him. The incident took place in July 2008 and the report was tabled in the State Assembly on Friday- the last day.

The commission ruled out any ‘tantrik vidhi’ (black magic) on the boys and said that their death occurred due to drowning. It also said that no organs from the bodies of deceased were missing. The commission, however, held that the two children going missing from the residential school showed “negligence” on the part of the management, which was not “tolerable”.

The parents of the deceased had alleged that ‘tantrik vidhi’ was performed on the two boys. But their long battle has not borne fruits. On July 5, 2008, the decomposed bodies of cousins Dipesh Vaghela (10) and Abhishek Vaghela (11), studying at Asaram’s Gurukul (residential school), were found on the bank of the Sabarmati river.

The children had gone missing from the school’s hostel two days earlier. Asaram’s ashram, which housed the school and hostel, is situated along the riverbank.

“There is no evidence to suggest that in the ashram, Asaram-ji and his son Narayan Sai performed tantrik vidhi(black magic rituals),” the report said.

“The management of the gurukul as well as ashram authorities are custodians and guardians of the children who are staying in the gurukul hostel and it is their duty to look after the children,” it said.

“From the perusal of the evidence, the commission is of the view that the same is lacking by the management of the gurukul,” the report said.

The medical evidence was conclusive and the possibility of death due to drowning cannot be ruled out, the commission said. Following a violent agitation demanding action against Asaram over the deaths, the state government set up a probe panel headed by Justice Trivedi, a retired high court judge, in July 2008.

In December 2012, after evading summons many times, Asaram deposed before the commission. He termed the allegations against him as a “conspiracy” to malign his ashram and the “Hindu religion”.

Asaram is presently serving life term in a sexual assault case, and is lodged in a Jodhpur jail. He is also facing trial in another sexual assault case in Ahmedabad. His son Narayan Sai was convicted for rape by a Surat court and is serving life imprisonment.

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