PUDUCHERRY: Members of Left parties, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) and other outfits staged a demonstration in front of the head post office here on Wednesday demanding that the territorial government bring in legislation to monitor the activities of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. The parties stated that the government should bring the Ashram trust and society under government control through an act of parliament as has been done for Auroville. The union government can either make Puducherry government the custodian or both the Union and territorial government can be joint custodians of the Ashram.
Further, the cadre of CPI, CPM, CPI-ML, RSP, Forward Bloc and VCK demanded a CBI probe into the suicide by two inmates of the Ashram, along with their mother, following their eviction and complaints of sexual harassment. Demand for setting up a special court to deal with cases of sexual harassment and atrocities against women, CBI probe into the Centac scam and child prostitution racket was also raised by protesters.
The demonstration comes after the suicide attempt on December 18 by the five sisters and their parents in which two of the sisters and their mother lost their lives. The five sisters were staying in the Ashram premises for several years. Following disciplinary action taken by the Ashram on account of `misconduct’ by one of the sisters in 2001, the five sisters had been fighting a legal battle against the Ashram. This culminated with the Supreme Court order on December 9 directing the sisters to vacate the Ashram and the All women police station in Puducherry to evict them if they failed to vacate. The sisters then threatened to commit suicide if they were evicted and shot off a letter to the trustees to direct the police from evicting them.