Trivedi to head commission probing Asaram ashram deaths

July 23rd, 2008 - 11:41 am ICT by IANS  


Ahmedabad, July 23 (IANS) The Gujarat government has assigned Justice D.K. Trivedi, a retired judge of the Gujarat High Court, the task of probing the deaths of two boys whose bodies were found near religious leader Asaram Bapu’s ashram here, official sources said. The one man inquiry commission will submit its report within three months. It has two terms of reference: to take a detailed look into circumstances leading to the death of the two boys who were students at the ashram, and any negligence on part of the ashram authorities; and to monitor the police investigation closely, including the power to identify lacunae and suggest amendments in police functioning.

Deepesh Vaghela, 10, and his cousin Abhishek Vaghela, 11, were students of the Gurukul School run by Aasaram Bapu’s ashram. The children went missing July 4. Their bodies were found from the nearby Sabarmati riverbed July 6. Allegations of a shoddy police probe have led to widespread protests in the city. This forced the government to set up the Trivedi commission.

Although the setting up of the commission was announced Sunday, Trivedi’s name was made public Tuesday night.

“Whether the deaths were caused due to negligence on the part of the ashram or the active collusion of somebody, everything will come under the commission’s purview,” an official said.

Director General of Police (DGP) P.C. Pande Tuesday ordered the transfer of the case to the Central Investigation Department (CID).

A statement issued by the DGP’s office said the CID will take over investigations without delay. Additional DGP (crime and railways) will follow the case and will be assisted by an officer from the forensic science laboratory here as well as a medical officer.

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