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Boys' deaths in ashram: Asaram son alleges conspiracy to defame father

Sunday, 11 November 2012 - 9:42pm IST | Place: Ahmedabad | Agency: PTI

In his deposition lasting seven hours, the godman's son claimed that a teacher at the Gurukul at the time of the incident was the suspect in the case, which was aimed at defaming his father.

Deposing before the commission probing the mysterious deaths of two children studying at Asaram's Gurukul at Motera here in 2008, Narayan Sai, the son of godman Asaram Bapu, on Sunday claimed it was a part of a conspiracy to defame his father.

"I believe that...who was a teacher at Gurukul at that time, is the suspect and he had done that as a part of a larger conspiracy to defame my father, our ashrams and Hindu religion," Sai told the Justice (retd) DK Trivedi Commission in his deposition which went on for over seven hours.

Sai also said he did not perform "witchcraft or black magic". "I know there is such a thing as witchcraft, but I don't know what it is, and I have never learnt it...as I firmly disapprove it in my preachings and books too," he said.

The inquiry pertains to July 2008 deaths of cousins Dipesh and Abhishek Vaghela, whose parents alleged that their children were victims of 'witchcraft and black magic' performed by Asaram and Narayan Sai.

However, Sai said after his own ashrams came up at Pedhmal and Virar, and after he started going overseas, he got little time to visit the Motera Ashram, the site of the incident. "For the past so many years I stay maximum of 4-5 days at Motera Ashram, that too once in one-and-half to two months," he said.

Denying any knowledge of the incident of two children going missing on July 3, 2008, and the subsequent discovery of their decomposed bodies, with some organs missing, two days later, he said, "On July 2, 2008 I had landed at Mumbai airport from Mauritius and from there I went to Ahmedabad very late on July 3. I just stopped at the gate of Motera Ashram and straightway drove to Pedhmala Ashram," he claimed.

The commission asked several questions to Sai to see if the evidence submitted by some of the former followers of Asaram was corroborated or contradicted by him. Sai was asked if he knew that he had taken along Mahendra Chawla when he visited Chhinna Masta Temple in Ranchi. Sai said he didn't remember exactly; Chawla might have accompanied him.

In his deposition in October 2010, Chawla had alleged that he saw Sai doing some "tantrik" ritual during the visit. The commission also asked about details of his personal life. When Sai said he was a Class IX drop-out, the commission pointed out that he had told the Gujarat CID (which is investigating the criminal case related to deaths) that he had passed the matriculation exam.

Sai also maintained that after he started travelling and visiting Ashrams on his own, he and his father very rarely had long interactions.

The commission has summoned Asaram Bapu to depose on December 1.

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