Ashram deaths: 7 Asaram disciples summoned by court
Ahmedabad: Seven disciples of self-styled godman Asaram Bapu, who were accused in the case of mysterious death of two children at his ashram here in 2008, were today summoned by a local court.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate D B Barot today issued the summons and ordered all seven disciples of Asaram to remain present tomorrow when they will be given copies of charge sheets filed against them by investigating agency, CID(Crime), said advocate Chandrashekhar Gupta.
Two children - Dipesh Vaghela and his cousin Abhishek Vaghela, who were studying in Asaram Bapu's Gurukul at Motera here, had died in July, 2008 which led to a statewide uproar and protests.
Their parents had alleged that the 'black magic' performed by Asaram and his son Narayan Sai was responsible for the death of their kids, whose dead bodies were found few metres away from the Gurukul at the banks of Sabarmati river.
State government has handed over the probe of the case to state CID (Crime) which, after the major statewide outcry against Asaram, had registered a case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder (Sec 304 of IPC) against the seven disciples of Asaram who were working at the Ashram or in Gurukul in different capacities at the time of the death of the children.
The investigating agency has filed an FIR against Vikas Khemka, Uday Sanghani, Ajay Shah, Kaushik Vani, Minketan Patra, Yogesh Bhati and Pankaj Saxena.
All these accused had challenged the FIR in the Gujarat High Court which had, in a judgement in 2011, ordered CID (Crime) to quash the charges of culpable homicide and register the offence under section 304(A) of the IPC (causing the death by negligence) against them.
Following the high court order, which was later upheld by the Supreme Court as well when parents of two kids had challenged the HC order in the Apex court, all seven accused had surrendered before the Metropolitan court and they were released on bail.
Subsequently, in August last year CID (Crime) had filed a charge sheet against all the seven accused.