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CBI Probe Into Children's Deaths in Asaram's Ashram

Parents of two children who were found dead on the banks of Sabarmati river near Asaram's Ashram in Motera here in July 2008, have reiterated their demand for a CBI probe into the death of their children.

"We had said this earlier also. We want a CBI probe into the deaths of the two children in the Ashram. The Gujarat police has failed to make any headway into the case even after five years," Shanti Vaghela, the father of the dead children, Abhishek Vaghela, told reporters here.

Parents of two children, along with other parents, whose children went missing staged a sit-in protest today near the Income-Tax Circle here.

Cousins Dipesh Vaghela (10) and Abhishek Vaghela (11) went missing from Asaram Bapu's gurukul, a residential school, on July 3, 2008 under mysterious circumstances.

On July 5, 2008, mutilated bodies of the two boys were found in the riverbed near the ashram.

After the two boys were found dead, there was a widespread public agitation against the ashram, with allegations that their deaths were linked to black magic practised in the ashram.

"Had the Gujarat police acted like the Rajasthan police, Asaram and his son would not have indulged in acts of sexual exploitation," Abhishek's father said.

He claimed that they had met Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in August 2008 and demanded a CBI probe into the deaths of their children.

"Modi had told us that the Gujarat police is capable of bringing the culprits to book and there was no need to hand over the case to the CBI," Shanti said.

"Five years have passed since the death of Dipesh and Abhishek. Their death is still a mystery. No one has been caught so far and no action has been taken against anyone," Dipesh's father Praful Vaghela said.

"The inquiry commission has submitted its report. However, contents of the report have not been made public. The state government has not taken any action," he said.

The parents also said that they had faxed a letter to the Gujarat Chief Minister on September 25 this year seeking the arrest of Asaram, his son Narayan Sai and his disciples for the deaths of the two children, as well as initiate legal action against them.

When the two children were found dead, Asaram and his son were not present at the ashram and the Gujarat police had registered cases against seven ashram inmates and given a clean chit to Asaram and his son.

In 2009, the Gujarat state CID (Crime) had booked seven followers of Asaram Bapu in the case under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder).

The state government had appointed the Justice D K Trivedi Commission to probe the incident, which submitted its report on the incident to the state government in July 2013.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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