Amid ongoing high-voltage drama over Swami Nityanad Ashram run school in Gujarat, Police gives ‘clean-chit’ of sorts to the religious group

Ahmedabad: Amid the ongoing ‘high-voltage’ drama over the alleged forceful detention of children in a religious Ashram run residential school here, police today again visited it and said that so far no wrong-doing on the part of the Swami Nityanad’s Sarvjnapeetham Ashram, which operates the Gurukulam model of school, has come to fore.

DySP S H Sarada who visited the school situated beside reputed Delhi Public School (DPS) on the land leased by it here in Hathijan area today said that on November 1 this month, one Janardan Sarma, a resident of Tamilnadu had approached the police claiming that the school and the ashram administration has forcefully kept all four of his children including three girls.

‘During Inquiry we found that two of the girls of Sarma who were adult and associated with the Ashram since long, are not willing to part ways with it and go with their parents. One of the them, the eldest one is living abroad for the past 3 years. The second one Nityanadita (19), has also willingly chosen to remain with the Ashram. She had earlier given her written statement to the police in this regard. Two of the other children of Sarma including 14 year old third daughter and 12 year old son have been handed over to the parents after they showed willingness to return home with them,’ Sarda said.

He said that later when it was alleged that several children were in forceful detention in the Ashram run school and a complaint in this regard was made to the Child Welfare committee also, the police visited it yesterday and today.

‘I went to the Ashram today where in all 37 children, all from other states including Punjab and UP etc, including 21 girls were found. They were interrogated thoroughly and it was found that they were neither kept forcefully there nor being ill-treated. The 19 year old girl of Sarma, Nityanadita was also contacted through video call today as she was out of station and she again claimed that she was living with the ashram willingly and does not want to go with parents. She has said that she would meet police soon in person also. As she was adult we can’t force her to go with parents. She said that her parents will forcefully take her with them if she met them. We also have the video recording of it,’ Sarda said.

He, however, said that the police investigation in the matter was still on.

Meanwhile, Sarma today again created a scene of sorts in front of the Ashram and alleged that he was not allowed by the Ashram authorities to meet his daughters. He said that he was earlier associated with the Swami Nityanad Ashram and himself admitted his four children in the ashram but now he was surprised at the behaviour of the Ashram people.

Police said that during the investigation it has also come to fore that Sarma was removed from the Ashram activities due to some irregularities.

Meanwhile, DPS school on whose land the Gurukul was situated claimed that it has nothing to do with the affairs of the Ashram school. Principal of DPS said that it was true that the land belonged to his school but it has nothing to do with DPS. ‘We provided them land because of there association with activities like yoga etc,’ he said. However, allegations regarding the children of Gurukul also getting education in the DPS were also being investigated by the district education department.

On the other hand Gujarat State Commission for Protection of Child Rights was also conducting a probe in the matter. Gujarat State Commission for Women Chairperson Lilaben Ankoliya also said that she was keeping a close eye on the matter.


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