Asaram’s son deposes, alleges conspiracy to defame ashram

Asaram Bapu

Narayan Sai Harpalani, the son of Asaram Bapu, on Sunday deposed before the Gujarat government-appointed D K Trivedi Commission, saying he firmly believed that the entire episode of the children's death and subsequent notoriety it brought to Asaram Ashram was part of a conspiracy to defame the ashram-run gurukul, Asaram Bapu and Hindu "sanskriti".

Harpalani appeared before the commission after evading to depose on several occasions. The commission subsequently warned him that a warrant would be issued against him following which Harpalani sent an undertaking that he would appear before the commission on Sunday. Replying to a question by the commission, Harpalani said the episode and holding Asaram Bapu and his ashram responsible for it was part of a conspiracy to defame his father, the gurukul and Hindu sanskriti. He held one Anilgiri Goswami, who used to work with the gurukul as sports teacher, responsible for the incident.

According to ashram authorities, Goswami actually belonged to some other religion and was working with the gurukul under a false name. He had left the ashram immediately after July 3, 2008 when the two boys went missing and were later found dead.

The commission was set up by the state government in July 2008 following widespread agitation against the ashram after the bodies of two of its inmates — Dipesh and Abhishek — were recovered from Sabarmati river near the ashram.

Fathers of the deceased children, Praful Vaghela and Shantilal Vaghela, were also present at the commission along with their counsel.

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