Nityanand Ashram case: 2 more including DPS principal arrested, laptops, mobile phones seized from Ashram

Ahmedabad:A day after the arrest of two ladies associated with the Ashram of controversial god-man Swami Nityanand including its local care-taker and young Sadhvi Pranpriya in the sensational case pertaining to alleged kidnapping and ill-treatment with two minor children of a former disciple, the police today arrested two more people including the principal of the Delhi Public School (DPS) here.

DySP K T Kamaria said that DPS principal Hitesh Puri, who is also the signatory of the Kalorex Education Trust that had singed a land agreement deed with the Ashram without informing the police and the manager of a housing colony Bakul Thakkar for renting out residential premises to the Ashram people in Pushp colony without police verification. ‘The district collector had issued a notification under which it was compulsory to inform the police about any rent or lease agreement but neither Puri nor Thakkar did so. For it they have been booked and arrested under section 131 of the Gujarat police Act and 188 of the IPC for violating a public order,’ he said.

Kamaria informed that the police today searched the Ashram situated near the DPS school in Hathijan area keeping the two arrested ladies with it. A number of laptops and mobile phones etc have been seized. Detailed investigation about these items would be done.

To a query about whether the police would also arrest Swami Nityanand in the case, the police officer said that if in the course of interrogation solid evidences were found against him and the need arose, the police would definitely try to nab him.
To another query he said that the police was also trying to locate the two elder daughters of the complainant who were issuing video messages but were not showing up physically. ‘The court would hear the habeas corpus plea for production of the two on November 26. But we are unable to locate them because they were using proxy network for video calls etc,’ he added.
He also said that the two other children found in the Ashram have so far not made any allegations against anyone but were only saying that they want to go to their parents. The Children welfare committee was also looking after that matter.

Notably, the two ladies arrested yesterday were handed over on five days remand to the police by a local court for further interrogation.

Amid hullabaloo over the alleged ‘disappearance’ of two young daughters of a former disciple of the controversial god-man Swami Nityanand and alleged misbehavior with minor children in his Ashram and the school operated by it in Hathijan area here close to DPS, the police investigation was now focused on the complaint regarding ill-treatment with the two minor children of the disciple. The two young and major daughters of the Tamilnadu based disciple of Nityanad, Janardan Sarma, the eldest Lopa Mudra (21) had gone abroad from Bengaluru Ashram while the other Nityanadita (19) have also expressed their unwillingness to join their parents.

Now the police’s investigation is based on the complaint filed by their father regarding the alleged misbehavior with his minor third daughter and a son in the Ashram school here. . Ashram care taker Pranpriya and her aide Priyatatwa have been arrested and taken on remand for further investigation.

The Gujarat High Court yesterday issued notices to the Ashram and the police on the habeaus corpus petition filed by Sharma for physical production of his two young daughters. The next date of hearing has been fixed for November 26.

Lopa Mudra, the eldest daughter who had alleged that his father has done embezzlement of Ashram money, had issued a video claiming that she was an adult and was free to take her decisions. She has claimed to be in the Caribbean country of Trinidad and Tobago now. Sharma’s advocate Priyesh Shah said that the two should be produced before the court as there was apprehension that they have been kept under captivity by the Ashram people and the videos issued by them might have been issued under pressure.

Controversial god-man Nityanada had broken his silence and issued a video on the social media day befor yesterday in which he attacked the media in veiled way and somewhat shrewdly praised the disciples of Gujarat. Police today said that he would also be contacted and if the need be arrested.

Notably, amid the ongoing ‘high-voltage’ drama police today again visited the spot ie Swami Nityanad’s Sarvjnapeetham Ashram, which operated a residential school, here and also visited a nearby residential area where some of those associated with the Ashram including Nityanadita used to live. The arrested Ashram care taker and her associate Priya Tatwa were also taken to these places for investigation. The lady care taker of the Ashram Sanyasini Pranpriya had earlier said that it was a case of family dispute due to which the Ashram and school were being defamed.

Police said that on November 1 this month, Sharma, had approached the police claiming that the school and the ashram administration has forcefully kept all four of his children including the three daughters. ‘During initial Inquiry it was found that two of the girls of Sharma 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 Lopamundra 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 Sharma 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,’ a police officer had said.

‘I am here for so many days to meet my daughters but could not do so. I had to approach police but could not meet my daughters. The eldest one is at some other place but the second one is here somewhere yet I am unable to meet her. I have to take shelter of the court’, Sarma had earlier said.

The whole episode had taken a nasty turn with the two young daughters addressing the media over video calls and dressed in saffron robes yet wearing designer ear-rings, made very serious allegations against their own parents. The eldest one had alleged that her father had done embezzlement of a huge some of Ashram money. They youngest one about whose whereabouts no one including the police is sure, claimed that her mother Bhuwaneshwari was in to an illicit relationship with another man.

Amid growing criticism for handing over its land to the Ashram, the DPS school which is facing a probe in this regard had yesterday claimed that it has cancelled the lease. Principal Hitesh Puri who was arrested today had yesterday said that the lease done for five years in June this year had been cancelled. ‘We had given the lease to the Ashram for educational purposes but in the wake of the recent developments we have decided to cancel it,’ he had told newsmen yesterday. Ahmedabad district collector however said that a probe regarding the lease and other related issues has been ordered.

Meanwhile taking an urgent and immediate action , Secretary CBSE has written to Directorate of Schools , State Education Department to inquire into the matter of leasing out land of DPS Maninagar, Mehmdabad Road, Hirapur , Ahmedabad to Swami nithyananda ashram without permission of the board.

It has been asked to conduct the enquiry expeditiously and convey the outcome of the report and status of No Objection Certificate issued by the state department to the school for seeking CBSE affiliation.

DeshGujarat

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