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The Times of India: Police fox woman, thwart suicide stunt inside ashram

Bosco Dominique,TNN | Dec 18, 2014

PUDUCHERRY: High drama unfolded as one of the sisters, who were directed by the Supreme Court to vacate Sri Aurobindo Ashram premises before December 16, threatened to commit suicide by jumping off the terrace of a four-storey building on Wednesday morning.

Hemlata Prasad gave some anxious moments to police and passersby as she climbed on the water tank on the terrace of the ashram building where she was staying along with her four elder sisters – Jayashreee Prasad, Arunashri, Rajyashree and Nivedita – and threatened to jump if the ashram trust did not permit them to continue to stay on the premises.

Grand Bazaar police sub-inspector C P Sajith in plainclothes reached the terrace and introduced himself as a journalist. He managed to converse with her under the pretext of interviewing her and then pulled her down from the terrace with the help of a policewoman.

Police later took the five sisters to the all-women police station. They booked Hemlata on charges of attempting to commit suicide and released her on bail. Police removed all their belongings from the ashram. The sisters moved to an acquaintance’s house nearby.

“We evicted them as per the orders of the Supreme Court,” a police officer said. A policeman, who brought out their belongings, said three of the sisters had hung ropes from ceiling fans to commit suicide.

The Madras high court directed the five women inmates of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, all siblings hailing from Bihar, to vacate the ashram premises before September 2, 2012. The sisters filed an appeal in the SC, which upheld the HC order. When the sisters didn’t move out, the ashram trust filed a contempt of court petition.

The SC in its order dated December 9 directed the sisters to vacate the ashram by December 16 and police to evict them if they failed to move out. The sisters refused to vacate the ashram premises and demanded that the trust give an undertaking that it would direct police not to execute the SC order.

The fight between the sisters and the ashram trust began when a retired district judge appointed by the Madras high court in 2002 to probe misconduct charges against Hemlata declared her guilty and recommended that the ashram initiate disciplinary action against her. “The allegation against Hemlata Prasad is quite serious and if such misconduct is ignored and no action is taken, that would be a bad precedent and it would jeopardize the noble principles on which the ashram is established,” the retired judge said in his report.

Hemlata Prasad challenged the report of the retired judge and filed a suit to restrain the ashram from taking action against her. The trust said since then the siblings have been giving false complaints of sexual harassment against the ashram and its inmates. It pointed out that the national commission for women and national human rights commission found their complaints false and motivated.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/puducherry/Police-fox-woman-thwart-suicide-stunt-inside-ashram/articleshow/45555434.cms

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