Call for Ahmedabad closure Friday

July 17th, 2008 - 5:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Ahmedabad, July 17 (IANS) A group of civil society organisations has called for shutdown in Ahmedabad Friday to protest what they see as shoddy investigations into the mysterious deaths of two children near the Asaram Bapu ashram this month. The closure will be observed without any compulsion and its effect will be felt all over Gujarat, said Gujarat Merchant Chamber president Prakashbhai Kapadia.

The shutdown also coincides with the festival of Guru Purnima, celebrated as a grand affair in the ashram.

Protests have been mounting against religious leader Asaram Bapu in Ahmedabad and other parts of the state even as Ashram residents were taking measures to ensure the Guru Purnima function passed off peacefully Friday.

Dipesh Praful Vaghela, 10, and his cousin Abhishek Shantilal Vaghela, 11, were found dead from the riverbed near the Ashram on the outskirts of the city July 6 after they had been missing for two days.

Their parents have alleged the two children were murdered as part of an esoteric ritual.

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