AHMEDABAD: Ahmedabad came to a standstill on Friday over the mysterious death of two boys at an ashram run by spiritual leader Asaram Bapu.
The Congress-backed bandh called by residents was marred by violence and attacks on journalists allegedly by supporters of Asaram Bapu.
Mobs, angry over the tardy pace of police probe into the deaths, torched vehicles and pelted stones at several places. The decomposed bodies of cousins Abhishek Vaghela (11) and Dipesh Vaghela (10) were found on July 6 on the banks of Sabarmati river near Sardar Patel stadium, about 2.5 km from Asaram Bapu Gurukul.
The boys, reported missing by the Ashram authorities a few days before their bodies were found, were enrolled in class V and VI.
On Friday, Asaram Bapu went to the house of Diptesh’s father Praful Vaghela but was barely there for three minutes before he was hounded out.
Vaghela, who has been observing ‘maun vrat’, or vow of silence, for the last four days to protest the deaths of his son and nephew, ordered that all the things the Bapu had touched be burnt. Even the mat he sat on was set ablaze.
Vaghela has alleged that the boys were killed and thrown into the river after some esoteric ritual at the ashram. Police are yet to search a cellar in the ashram which is guarded by white robed men.