Narayan Sai Harpalani — son of Asaram Bapu — deposed before state government-appointed D K Trivedi Commission on Sunday and stated he firmly believed that the entire episode of the children’s death and subsequent notoriety it brought to Asaram Ashram was part of a conspiracy to defame the ashram, Asaram Bapu and Hindu “sanskriti”.
Harpalani appeared before the Commission after evading the deposition on several occasions under one pretext or the other. On the last occasion, the Commission was considering issuance of warrant against him following which, he sent an assurance letter on his deposition and ultimately agreed to appear on Sunday.
Replying to a question by the Commission, Harpalani said that the entire episode and holding Asaram Bapu and his ashram responsible for it was part of a conspiracy to defame Asaram Bapu, his gurukul and Hindu sanskriti. He directly held one Anilgiri Goswami who used to work with the ashram-run gurukul as sports teacher responsible for the same. According
to ashram authorities, Goswami actually belonged to some other religion and was working with the gurukul under false name. He had left the ashram immediately after July 3, 2008 when the two boys went missing and were later found dead in Sabarmati river.
The Commission has been formed by the State Government in July 2008 following largescale agitation against Asaram Ashram related to the deaths of the two children. The two boys — Dipesh and Abhishek — were found dead from the Sabarmati river near the Ashram after they went missing mysteriously from the Asaram Ashram-run Gurukul on July 3, 2008. It was alleged that the two boys had died while felling prey to some exorcist inside the ashram.
Fathers of the two deceased children, Praful Vaghela and Shantilal Vaghela, were also present at the Commission along with their counsel.
Harpalani had reached the Commission office in Judges’ Bungalow area at around 12 noon. He was greeted by some of his female followers outside the Commission office with garlands and diyas. Many of followers of Asaram Ashram were also present on the occasion. Heavy police force was deployed outside the Commission to prevent any untoward incident. Anti-rioting special police vehicle, Vajra, was also kept outside the Commission office.
He was questioned extensively by the Commission headed by retired Gujarat High Court judge, D K Trivedi, ranging from his age, his birth, his schooling, his marital status and many controversial issues related to the deaths of