Spiritual leader, Asaram Bapu has once again tried to avoid appearing before the justice DK Trivedi commission, this time by citing some unheard-of reasons. The guru has said that there is apprehension of violence at the office of the commission if he goes there for cross examination. Instead, he has offered the commission to visit his ashram or to conduct the cross examination through video conference, for which he is ready to bear the expenses.
Bapu, his son Narayan Sai and other disciples of the Asaram Ashram are facing judicial inquiry from Gujarat high court’s retired judge, justice DK Trivedi over the mysterious deaths of two students of the Asaram Gurukul, Dipesh and Abhishek, in 2008.
The commission had first issued summons in this regard in April 2011 to Asaram and his son but they had repeatedly failed to appear before the panel citing one or the other reason.
On Thursday, Asaram’s lawyers, BM Gupta and Chandrashekhar Gupta have moved another such application stating there is strong apprehension of violence by some anti-social elements.
“We have moved the plea on Thursday and its hearing will be held on October 23,” said the counsel for Asaram.
In his application, the spiritual leader has given three options to the commission – to appoint a representative to record his statement, the commission be shifted to his ashram in Sabarmati or the examination be recorded through video conferencing.
Furnishing reasons to not appear before the commission, Asaram has cited two incidents of major violence that broke out between his disciples and the public after the death of the two minors came to light. One incident was right after the deaths in July 2008 and the second took place during when his followers were carrying out a rally at Gandhinagar in 2009.
In July 2008, the state government had announced setting up of the commission following public outrage over the death of cousins, Dipesh and Abhishek after their bodies were found on the Sabarmati riverbed, not very far from the ashram. Parents of the victims have since alleged involvement of black magic by Asaram behind the death of the kids.
Capt. Shekhar Gupta [ Pilot, DIAM, M.Ae.S.I., MAOPA [USA] ] firstname.lastname@example.org