Swami Avdheshanand Giri denies having links with Pragya

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Ambala, Nov 12 (UNI) Juna Akhara temporal head Swami Avdheshanand Giri, whose name figured as religious guru of Sadhvi Pragya Singh, the prime accused in the Malegaon bomb blast case, today denied having any relation with her.

Swami Avdheshanand, who was interacting with mediapersons at his ashram 'Prabhu Premi Sangh', also distributed a statement as a rebuttal to the allegation of his having links with the sadhvi.

The Swami clarified that Pragya had met him at the Kumbh mela at Allahabad with her family members, where she was baptised (diksha) along with more than 10,000 followers.

He said according to tradition, the temporal head of Juna Akhara baptises his followers in large numbers on the occasion of Kumbh melas held after 12 years.

Being the temporal head of Juna Akhara with its worship centres all over the country, Swami Avdheshanand claimed that he had baptised more than one lakh sadhus and sadhvis.

After being baptised, the sadhus and sadhvis usually go on their own to various secluded places or temples or maths for penance and social service, he said.

He condemned the violence and terrorism, and said there was no place for both in Indian culture. Those who preached violence and spread terror should be awarded harsh punishment, he said.

However, in reply to a question, he said it would be erroneous to label sadhvi as terrorist till the allegations against her were proved.

To another question, he said he would cooperate with the Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) if they wanted to inquire about his relations with sadhvi.


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