Children's deaths: Asaram's son alleges conspiracy to defame
"I believe that...who was a teacher at Gurukul at that time, is the suspect and he had done that as a part of a larger conspiracy to defame my father, our ashrams and Hindu religion," Sai told the Justice (retd) D K Trivedi Commission in his deposition which went on for over seven hours.
Sai also said he did not perform "witchcraft or black magic". "I know there is such a thing as witchcraft, but I don't know what it is, and I have never learnt it...as I firmly disapprove it in my preachings and books too," he said.
The inquiry pertains to deaths of cousins Dipesh and Abhishek Vaghela in July 2008. Their parents have alleged that their children died because of `witchcraft and black magic' performed by Asaram and Narayan Sai.
After his own Ashrams came up at Pedhmal and Virar, and after he started going overseas, he got little time to visit Motera Ashram, Sai said.
"For the past so many years I stay maximum of 4-5 days at Motera Ashram, that too once in one-and-half to two months," he said.
Sai denied any knowledge about the incident of children going missing on July 3, 2008, and discovery of decomposed bodies, with some organs missing, two days later.
"On July 2, 2008 I had landed at Mumbai airport from Mauritius and from there I went to Ahmedabad very late on July 3. I just stopped at the gate of Motera Ashram and straightway drove to Pedhmala Ashram," he claimed.
The Commission asked several questions to Sai to see if the evidence submitted by some of the former followers of Asaram was corroborated or contradicted by him.
Sai was asked if he knew that he had taken along Mahendra Chawla when he visited Chhinna Masta Temple in Ranchi. Sai said he didn't remember exactly; Chawla might have accompanied
In his deposition in October 2010, Chawla had alleged that he saw Sai doing some "tantrik" ritual during the visit.
The Commission also asked about details of his personal life. When Sai said he was a Class IX drop-out, the commission pointed out that he had told the Gujarat CID (which is investigating the criminal case related to deaths) that he had passed the matriculation exam.
Sai also maintained that after he started travelling and visiting Ashrams on his own, he and his father very rarely had long interactions.
The commission has summoned Asaram Bapu to depose on December 1.
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