Gandhi items: Trustee's daughter says her father is innocent
Rajkot: Daughter of Pravin Ahya, one of
the trustees of Kasturba Dham, accused of selling Gandhiji's
personal belongings, has defended her father.
In this regard, Ahya's daughter Meera Chatwani has
filed an application before the Joint Charity Commissioner and
the district collector here.
Chatwani filed the application yesterday and demanded
stern action against the current manager of the Kasturba Dham
Jaysinh Rathod, who has accused her father Pravin Ahya and
present managing trustee Vibhakar Vaccharaji.
She has said that the allegations against her father
were baseless and motivated to remove him from the trust
committee only to take control of huge lands of Kasturba
Dham. She demanded strict action against those who are making
false allegations against her father.
Chatwani said that Gandhiji's items like sandals,
spectacles, bowl and plate, which had gone missing, were with
Abhaben Gandhi who was close to Gandhiji.
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.
One person John Autis had bought them in the auction
and therefore her father Pravin Ahya had no role to play in
the auction, she added.
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 Kasturba Dham.
Following the manager's affidavit,the 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 freedom struggle and now it has been
converted into a memorial.
Many articles used by Mahatma Gandhi during
different times had been exhibited here.