Monday, February 9, 2015

Reports on Ashram controversy are vanishing

Jan 27, 2015 - Pol parties demand restoration of facilities to ashram sister ... and not allowing them to enter the ashram to have meditation near the Samadhi of Sri Aurobindo.

Political parties and social movements here today urged Lt Governor A K Singh to intervene in the issue of the ashram sisters to restore all facilities enjoyed by the ashram inmates to them.
In a memorandum submitted to Mr Singh, with copies to the Chief Minister, Chief Secretary, Revenue Secretary and District Collector, the representatives also demanded a financial assistance of Rs five lakh to one of the sisters who was raped when she was in unconscious state on the beach after jumping into the sea to commit suicide.
Explaining in detail the execution of the Supreme Court order to evict the sisters from the Ashram accommodation and the subsequent suicide pact in which two sisters and their mother drowned, they said the apex court order was only to evict them from the ashram accommodation, but was not a denial of their inmateship.
Now the ashram trust was denying all facilities such as food, clothing etc and not allowing them to enter the ashram to have meditation near the Samadhi of Sri Aurobindo. More UNI PAB AKM AK1732 NNNN -- (UNI) -- 27MS50.xml

Probe only after full hearing: Supreme Court - The Asian Age-27-Jan-2015
Observing that ordering a probe into the allegations of sexual harassment at Aurobindo Ashram in Puducherry without a full-fledged hearing will have serious ramifications, the Supreme Court on Tuesday refrained from passing an order for a probe at this stage.
A bench of Chief Justice H.L. Dattu and Justice A.K. Sikri told senior counsel Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for the petitioner Dr Gayathri Satapathy and others seeking such a probe “before we appoint an inquiry committee we want to be sure about ourselves. The moment we say some inquiry committee has to be appointed it has its own ramifications and that will be a disaster for the institution. If necessary, we will do so after the final hearing.”
Earlier, Mr Dhavan pleaded for a probe and said the Centre was also in favour of such a probe. Senior counsel Gopal Subramanium, appearing for the Ashram, brought to the notice of the bench that a similar writ petition was filed in the Madras high court and a probe was ordered to be conducted by a retired Kerala high court judge, T.L. Viswanatha Iyer. The bench then posted the matter for final hearing on March 19.
The Centre in its response to the notice on the petition had urged the court to order a fair probe by a retired high court judge into the allegations of sexual harassment of women and children in Aurobindo Ashram in Puducherry. The allegations by the inmates of the Ashram and local MLA include misappropriation of Ashram funds and illegal sale and lease of Ashram properties.

A day after five sisters were evicted from the Sri Aurobindo Ashram-run apartments, on a Supreme Court order, two of the sisters and their mother ended their ...

“Re-induct us into Ashram” - The Hindu-05-Feb-2015 - R. Sivaraman
The sisters, who have been evicted from Sri Aurobindo Ashram premises, claimed on Thursday that they are still Ashramites (members of the Ashram) and should be re-inducted into the Ashram. They declared that they would pursue legal course against the trustees of the Ashram for that purpose.
For the first time since their discharge from the hospital, the surviving sisters have reached out to the media reiterating their claims and accused the trustees of harassing them since 2001.

Jan 18, 2015 - The court was hearing a petition filed by one Gayatri Satpathy, who ...Appearing for petitioner Satpathy, senior lawyer Harish Salve urged a ...
The famous Sri Aurobindo Ashram is under the scanner of the Supreme Court following allegations of harassment of women and child inmates against its members and several other irregularities including misappropriation of funds.
Though the issues had been boiling since 2001, matters came to light for the first time when the Centre informed the Supreme Court that it "favoured an independent enquiry into the affairs of the Ashram".
"In view of the serious allegations about sexual harassment of women and children in the ashram, misappropriation of funds, illegal sale and lease of ashram properties for personal gain by the managing trustee and the trustees of Shri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, through a number of complaints by inmates and local MLA, it is necessary to get a fair inquiry conducted by an independent authority," the affidavit filed by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi who represented the Centre stated.
The Centre's stand is significant as several committees, government agencies and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had probed the allegations and given the ashram a clean chit. The NHRC had even concluded that 'there appeared to be malicious planning behind the complaints'. The court was hearing a petition filed by one Gayatri Satpathy, who sought a judicial probe into the ashram's affairs.
The row dates back to 2001, when a female member and four of her sisters were expelled from the ashram for violation of rules following which they levelled the allegations.
They challenged their expulsion before various forums including a lower court and the high court.
The members took the battle till the Supreme Court, which on December 18, 2014, ruled that they be evicted.
A day later two of them and their mother committed suicide by jumping into the sea. The other three sisters and their father, who also tried to end their lives, were pulled out of the sea by fishermen. Violent protests had erupted against the ashram in the wake of the incident.
Appearing for petitioner Satpathy, senior lawyer Harish Salve urged a bench headed by Chief Justice H. L. Dattu to order a judicial probe into the allegations against the ashram members.
Denying all allegations, senior lawyer Dushyant Dave urged the court not to take into record the Centre's reply. The bench, however, posted the affidavit for a hearing on January 27.

The Indian Express-15-Jan-2015
Accentuating the chances of a judicial probe into allegations of sexual harassment of women and children at the Aurobindo Ashram in Puducherry, the Centre ...

The Hindu-09-Jan-2015
As many as 40 volunteers belonging to various Tamil outfits and civil society organisations were arrested when they attempted to picket Sri Aurobindo Ashram ...

The New Indian Express-09-Jan-2015
... activists belonging to twenty organisations led by G Sugumaran of Federation for People's Rights were arrested for attempting to picket Sri Aurobindo Ashram ...

The Hindu-01-Jan-2015
Unknown persons pelted stones at the assets of Sri Aurobindo Ashram on Tuesday night. Such attacks have been continuing after three women who ended their ...

The Indian Express-03-Jan-2015
family suicide attempt, family attempts suicide, puducherry, sri aurobindo ashramGadadhar Prasad (above) put his daughters in the care of the ashram between ...
Another famous ashram in the early part of the 20th century was presided over by ShriAurobindo in Pondicherry. One of his most devoted followers there, with ...

The New Indian Express-22-Dec-2014
... five sisters and their parents in which two of the sisters and their mother lost their lives, Sri Aurobindo Ashram on Monday termed the incident “very unfortunate

Deccan Chronicle-18-Dec-2014
Chennai: A day after the high drama and dramatic suicide attempts on Sri AurobindoAshram premises in Puducherry, two sisters and their mother, all devotees ...
The New Indian Express-18-Dec-2014
PUDUCHERRY: A day after police evicted five sisters from the Sri Aurobindo Ashram following a Supreme Court order, two of them, Rajyashree Prasad (49) and ...

Jan 29, 2015 - Then they go about systematically diluting the work of Sri Aurobindo and the .... four weeks on the matter of the sisters being evicted from Aurobindo Ashram.

Jan 13, 2015 - A well-wisher of Sri Aurobindo Ashram has sent to us a set of key documents that contain volumes of facts and details about the case of the Prasad sisters.ucherry on Thursday.

For the inmates of an institution which strongly believes in the freedom of an individual, the suicide of two sisters evicted from Sri Aurobindo Ashram and their mother has come as a rude shock.

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