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Indian Express: Ashram Sisters Play Suicide Card To Ward Off Eviction

The New Indian Express

Published: 16th December 2014

PUDUCHERRY : Following the Supreme Court order on December 9 directing Jayashreee Prasad and her four sisters Arunashri, Rajyashree, Nivedita and Hemlata, all inmates of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, to vacate the premises within seven days. The five, blamed for misconduct, have threatened to commit suicide if forced out of the ashram.

In a long-drawn battle, the Supreme court Bench, comprising  Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, had  directed the jurisdictional police station and all- Mahila police station, Puducherry to evict the five from the premises  of  Sri Aurobindo Ashram ‘Ambabhikshu House’, if they failed to comply with the order.

Now, the sisters in a letter addressed to all the trustees of Sri Aurobindo Trust on Monday, had said if the police comes to evict them, they  would leave suicide notes naming the trustees for being responsible for driving them to death. They  urged the trust to pass a resolution at the board meeting held on Monday to stop the execution of the apex court order and give an undertaking to the Puducherry police to that effect. Earlier, an inquiry by a retired district judge appointed by the Madras HC in 2002 found Hemalata guilty of misconduct and recommended that the ashram initiate disciplinary charges against her since it was serious in nature.

Objecting to this, the sisters levelled serious charges of sexual abuse against representative of the ashram. The National Commission for Women, which conducted the inquiry, however, observed that the allegations were baseless. Thereafter, the sisters moved court objecting to the disciplinary action.

The Puducherry Principal District Munsif Court had directed the trust not to deny the ashram’s facilities to the  sisters till the suit remained pending.

In the meantime, the ashram moved the Madras High Court in August 2012  against the order of the Munsif Court.

The Madras High Court passed the order directing the sisters to leave the ashram by September 2, 2012 and asked them to arrange for their own accommodation outside the ashram.The sisters had undertaken to vacate the premises on or before July 31, 2014  and have filed their respective undertakings before the Supreme Court on  May 7, 2014. Despite this, the sisters did not leave, following which the SC issued orders on December 9.


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