Hc Orders Cops To ‘Free’ 400 Vadodara Temple Devotees Swaminarayan Sadhus | Ahmedabad News

Ahmedabad: The dispute between two factions of a Swaminarayan sect at Akshar Purshottam Swami Temple in Vadodara district reached the Gujarat High Court on Wednesday, with the petitioner seeking its intervention to free nearly 400 sadhus, sadhvis and devotees, who are believed to have been confined to the temple premises for the past few months.
The high court on Thursday ordered a video conference with those who would be held in the religious place of Haridham Sokhada and ordered the police to evacuate them. Sending notices to the government and temple authorities, he sought a response within a day.
Pavitra Jani, personal secretary to the late Guru Hari Prasad Dasji – the founder of the Yogi Divine Society which runs temples in seven countries and its properties worth Rs 10,000 crore – has filed a habeas corpus petition, seeking freedom saints and worshipers confined to temple premises. The petitioner alleged that three people – Sadhu Premswaroopdas, JM Dave, co-secretary of the trust, and Sadhu Tyagvallabhdas – prevented these sadhus and sadhvis from leaving the premises for the purpose of usurping the properties of the trust.
The petitioner also cited a notice posted at the premises on Tuesday, prohibiting inmates from leaving campus. It has been alleged that the saints and devotees were not allowed out of their respective rooms and that their personal belongings such as cell phones, passports, etc. were seized by the trio. The petitioner requested their evacuation to Surat, where one of the sect’s campuses is located.
After hearing the case, the bench of Judge Sonia Gokani and Judge Mauna Bhatt ordered that those allegedly detained be brought before the HC by videoconference, in the presence of the President and Secretary of the Legal Services Authority of the Vadodara district. The HC has also requested the Chief Judge of Vadodara District to attend the video conference.
The HC also ordered the Vadodara Superintendent of Police to personally go to the scene and bring all those allegedly detained to Vadodara. The exercise is to be undertaken under the direction of the Range IG to enable him to arrange for the transportation of sadhus and 130 sadhvis.
The High Court also required the petitioner to deposit Rs 2.5 lakh with the court registry by Thursday evening.
The claimant argued in court that the unrest started after Guru Hariprasad disappeared in July 2021, when Sadhu Premswaroopdas, JM Dave and Sadhu Tyagvallabhdas started asserting themselves.

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