Rajkot: The daughter of a trustee of
Kasturba Dham memorial who was accused of auctioning
Gandhiji`s personal belongings has defended her father, saying
he was innocent and demanded strict action against those
making false allegations against him.
Meera Chatwani filed an application yesterday before
the Joint Charity Commissioner and the District Collector here
and demanded stern action against manager of the Kasturba Dham
Jaysinh Rathod, who had accused her father Pravin Ahya and
present managing trustee Vibhakar Vaccharaji.
She said the allegations against her father were
baseless and aimed at removing him from the trust committee
only to take "control of huge lands" of Kasturba Dham.
Chatwani said Gandhiji`s items like sandals,
spectacles, bowl and plate, which had gone missing, were with
Abhaben Gandhi who was close to him.
After Abhaben`s death, her daughter Geetaben Mehta was
in possession of the items, Chatwani said, adding that the
auction of Gandhi personal items was carried out by Geetaben
through one Peter Rou in the US in 2002.
A person named John Autis had bought the items in the
auction and therefore her father Pravin Ahya had no role to
play in the sale, she said.
Manager of Kasturba Dham Jaysinh Rathod had, in an
affidavit before Joint Charity Commissioner last month,
accused Ahya of selling sandals, spectacles, bowl and plate by
auctioning them in the US while another trustee Vibhakar
Vaccharajani was accused of helping Ahya to take away the
items from the memorial.
Following the manager`s affidavit, Assistant Police
Commissioner Nilesh Janjadiya probed the matter by recording
statements of the persons concerned which revealed that the
items had never been in Kasturba Dham in the past.
Kasturba Dham is located near Tramba on the city`s
outskirts. Gandhiji`s wife Kasturba was kept under house
arrest here during the freedom struggle and now it has been
converted into a memorial.
Many articles used by Mahatma Gandhi during
different times have been exhibited here.