Father accuses ashram of indoctrination after sons refuse to visit ailing mother
Express News Service
Posted: Sep 20, 2008 at 0401 hrs IST
Surat, September 19 A retired army man from Agra came to Gujarat seeking custody of his two adult sons who are inmates of two different ashrams run by Asaram Bapu in Ahmedabad and Surat.
Jagramsinh Chauhan (70), a resident of Durga Palace, Devri road in Agra had submitted an application to the DIG of Agra to get the custody of his two sons Dharmesh (29) and Vivek (26) who are in the Asaram ashrams in Motera in Ahmedabad and Jehangirpura in Surat. The sons meanwhile have refused to meet their father and have even told the police that he could harm them if they returned home.
Chauhan added in his application that his wife Vimladevi is bedridden and wants to see her two sons. Agra DIG transferred the application to Gujarat, following which Chauhan came to Ahmedabad and handed over the application to the CID, seeking custody of Dharmesh from the Motera ashram.
Chauhan, along with Inspector Himmatsinh Rajput (CID) met Dharmesh after obtaining permission from the ashram in-charge Yogeshbhai. Dharmesh is a BE in Electrical engineering and has been living in the Motera ashram for six years.
Dharmesh made a call to his brother Vivek in Surat and told him that their mother Vimladevi is bedridden and that their father has come to take them back home. Vivek agreed. He has been an inmate of the Jehangirpura ashram for the last eight years now.
But in a surprise move on Friday morning, Vivek handed over an application to Surat police commissioner and a Rander inspector stating that his father will come to the ashram, take him back home and will kill him, as he had lost his mental balance. He pleaded for help and said he did not want to go with his father.
In the afternoon, Chauhan, with two of his relatives, went to the Surat ashram. But Vivek gave him the shock of his life by refusing to come with him. Rander police arrived after learning about Chauhan’s arrival at the ashram. They recorded the statements of both father and son and took them to Rander police station for further questioning.
In presence of Inspector R H Hadiya, Vivek repeated his decision about not going back home.
“I have come here to take my sons home. My wife Vimladevi is bedridden. Both Dharmesh and Vivek have not come home for the last seven years. They (ashram authorities) have brain-washed my sons. How can one change his mind overnight? We suspect that the ashram in-charge Amar Yadav and others might have pressurised him not to go with his father, by making him believe that Asaram Bapu was ‘present in them’ and that there was no place for any relative or family in their life,” said Chauhan.
He added: “I will not leave Surat without Vivek. If he is not willing to come home for good, he can come for just five days. He can return after seeing his mother’s condition.”
Vivek, however, stuck to his decision. However, later in the evening, Chauhan again went to the ashram and talks were still on between father and sons till the time of filing this report.
“I have been in the ashram for the last seven years and I am enjoying a holy life with the blessings of Asaram Bapu. I don’t want to go back home, as I am scared of my father. He is a retired army man and has come in contact with those who are anti-Bapu. They will kill me,” said Vivek.
Meanwhile, Amar Yadav has said that the ashram is not pressurising Vivek. “We have done nothing to him. He had sent an application to the police commissioner and Rander police seeking police help.
Hadiya said, “Vivek is mature enough to understand what is good or bad for him. I have asked him to visit his mother and then return to the ashram.”