PUDUCHERRY: Stating that inmates were distraught over the suicide attempt by five sisters and their parents in which two of the sisters and their mother lost their lives, Sri Aurobindo Ashram on Monday termed the incident “very unfortunate and heart-breaking “and said it would extend all assistance to the sisters to find suitable accommodation in a government-run home.
“It is a moment of profound sadness for us and we reach out to everyone who feels the loss. We are extremely upset that anyone should have had to take such a drastic step”, said an official statement from the Sri Aurobindo Ashram trust.
Stating that the Ashram was a spiritual organisation open to all and joining it was voluntary, the trust said Hemalata Prasad, was found in violation of one of these rules in 2001.
After multiple attempts to find a solution, the Ashram took disciplinary action against Hemalata based on the report of an inquiry officer appointed by Madras High Court. Hemalata challenged the report and filed a suit. “At that point in an obvious attempt to divert the attention the five Prasad sisters alleged sexual harassment,” said the statement.
In 2004, the NWC concluded that the complaint was false and motivated. In 2005, the NHRC also concluded that the complaints were false. Different courts also found that multiple complaints by the sisters were false. The trust said it also received complaints from other inmates that five sisters were making their lives “unlivable.”
Madras High Court on June 21, 2006 ordered the five sisters to stay outside the Ashram and directed the Ashram to bear the cost of their stay. However, the sisters approached the Supreme Court, which too ruled in favour of the Ashram.
“The ashram has constantly attempted to resolve the issue with the sisters. Still they attempted suicide,” the trust said.