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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 17 April 2024

Two sisters commit suicide at Brahma Kumaris ashram in Agra

Duo leave behind two notes alleging extortion and illegal activities at spiritual organisation that has its branches across the country

Piyush Srivastava Lucknow Published 12.11.23, 06:09 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. File picture

Two sisters who used to stay at a Brahma Kumaris ashram in Agra committed suicide on Friday night, leaving behind two notes alleging extortion and illegal activities at the spiritual organisation that has its branches across the country.

Police said the sisters — 37-year-old Ekta Kumari and 34-year-old Shikha Kumari — addressed their suicide notes to other members of the Jagner ashram and appealed to chief minister Yogi Adityanath to ensure that the culprits got life sentence like godman-turned-convicted rapist Asaram Bapu.

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The police said the sisters had named four persons from Agra Dholpur and Gwalior’s Brahma Kumaris ashrams and blamed them for their suicide.

“They have stated that a man cheated both of them and brought them to the ashram in Agra after fraudulently taking Rs 7 lakh from them. Ekta has stated that the same person took Rs 18 lakh from older women members by one or the other means in the name of development of the ashram but he never did any work there. Some persons sexually exploited some other inmates in some ashrams. Ekta has written that such persons and their associates should be awarded life term the way it happened with Asaram,” said a police officer in Lucknow on the condition of anonymity.

Sonu Kumar, the younger brother of the two women, told reporters in Agra on Saturday: “A senior inmate called me at 11.18pm last night and told me that my sisters had committed suicide. My sisters had sent the suicide notes to the WhatsApp group of the ashram. I rushed to the ashram from my village Jagner and found them hanging from the ceiling with their saris.”

Sonu’s ancestral village is 13km from the ashram in Agra district.

“I had met my sisters in the ashram two days ago but they didn’t tell me anything,” he said.

He said his sisters had joined the Brahma Kumaris after their training in Mount Abu eight years ago. Later, they were shifted to the Jagner branch when it was built four years ago.

Sonam Kumar, deputy commissioner of police of Agra West, said: “We have registered a case on the basis of the suicide notes and a complaint from the family members of the victim. The women have leveled serious charges against some employees of the branches of the centre. We need to investigate them thoroughly.”

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