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Boys' Death at Asaram Ashram: Gujarat Govt to Table Probe Report in House

Dipesh and Abhishek were students of a 'gurukul' (residential hostel for students) run by Asaram and used to stay on the campus of the asharam.

PTI

Updated:April 26, 2018, 11:58 PM IST
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Boys' Death at Asaram Ashram: Gujarat Govt to Table Probe Report in House
File photo of self-styled godman Asaram. (Image: AFP)
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Ahmedabad: Almost 10 years after two boys were found dead under mysterious circumstances near self-styled godman Asaram's ashram in Motera, the BJP government in Gujarat on Thursday announced it would table the probe commission report in the Legislative Assembly in the upcoming monsoon session.

The announcement came a day after a court in Jodhpur sentenced the 77-year-old controversial self-styled godman to life in jail for raping a teenage girl at his ashram in 2013.

The Justice D K Trivedi Commission, which probed the deaths of the two boys, had submitted the report to the state government in July 2013.

With the state government sitting on the report, the Opposition Congress had alleged that the ruling party was "shielding" Asaram.

"We are not shielding anyone. The Gujarat government has taken the decision to table the report related to Asaram in the upcoming Assembly session," Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja told reporters in Gandhinagar on Thursday.

The monsoon session is expected to be convened in August.

On July 5, 2008, the decomposed bodies of Dipesh Vaghela (10) and Abhishek Vaghela (11), both cousins, were recovered from the banks of the Sabarmati river behind the Motera ashram.

Dipesh and Abhishek were students of a 'gurukul' (residential hostel for students) run by Asaram and used to stay on the campus of the asharam.

A violent agitation followed the recovery of the bodies amid allegations that the deaths were linked to black magic practised at the ashram.

Following the protest, the state government set up a probe panel in July 2008 under the Commission of Inquiries Act. The government had appointed Gujarat high court judge

(retd) D K Trivedi as the chairman of the panel.

The government had assigned the investigation of the case to the CID (Crime), which had booked seven followers of Asaram under section 304 of the IPC (culpable homicide not

amounting to murder) in 2009. A chargesheet was filed against them in September 2012.

The Trivedi commission was asked to submit its report after probing the facts pertaining to the circumstances that led to the death of the two boys, and to monitor the police investigation.

After evading repeated summons, Asaram had deposed before the panel in December 2012. During his deposition, he had claimed that allegations of his involvement in the deaths were part of a conspiracy to malign his ashram and the Hindu

religion.

In the Gujarat assembly held in March this year, the opposition Congress had raised the issue and alleged that the BJP was trying to shield the self-styled godman by not tabling

the probe report in the House.

When Leader of Opposition Paresh Dhanani had sought a reply from the government, Jadeja had told the House that the government was ready to table the report.
| Edited by: Huma Tabassum
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