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Tamil Nadu police clears Sadguru’s Isha Foundation in missing persons case, tells Madras HC that most volunteers have returned

On 18th April, the Tamil Nadu police cleared the Jaggi Vasudev popularly known as Sadhguru’s Isha Foundation in the missing persons case and stated that five out of the six volunteers who disappeared from its yoga centre in the Coimbatore district’s foothills had returned after departing for private reasons. The submission was made before a Division Bench of Justices M.S. Ramesh and Sunder Mohan of the Madras High Court after a habeas corpus petition (HCP) was filed by 56-year-old C. Thirumalai of Kulasekarapatti in the Tirunelveli district claiming his brother C. Ganesan (46) had been missing since March 2023.

The petitioner alleged that his brother was volunteering at the yoga centre. He discovered something was wrong on 2nd March of this year after he unexpectedly received a call from the centre inquiring whether his brother had returned home. The foundation revealed that C. Ganesan had been gone for two days. Afterwards, on 5th March, the administrator of the yoga centre, Dinesh filed a report with the Alandurai police and a missing person case was registered. The petitioner moved the HCP because his sibling remained untraceable even after the First Information Report was registered.

Additional Public Prosecutor E. Raj Thilak informed the court during the case’s hearing on 18th April that 36 people had been questioned at that point, including members of the Isha Yoga Centre’s staff and volunteers. However, the authorities needed more time to compose a status report on the matter. When questioned about E. Raj Tilak’s statement from the previous hearing regarding the disappearance of other Foundation volunteers, he responded that although five more individuals had been reported missing at the time, the majority of them had since returned to the centre and were determined to have left for private reasons.

The counsel assured the court that the police would “expedite the steps” to seek out C. Ganesan and write a status report. “Even in the present habeas corpus petition, the volunteer concerned has no other family member but for the petitioner who is his brother. If some time is given, we will expedite the steps to trace him out and file a status report,” he disclosed to the court.

The Madras High Court issued a warning in the meantime and declared that if the petitioner, who filed the lawsuit claiming his brother’s disappearance does not show up for the hearing, the case will be dismissed. He was not there in the court for the hearing that day, as the bench observed. The petitioner’s attorney was not present, therefore the judges noted his submissions and ordered the High Court registry to post the case on 7th June with the caption “For Dismissal” and made it clear that it would be the last chance for the petitioner to appear.

Six individuals from the Isha Foundation have vanished since 2016, the police told the bench last month at Thirumalai’s habeas corpus hearing. However, the police had informed the court at earlier hearings that most people who depart from the Foundation do so on their own accord.

Islamists and leftists insinuated foul play

The news of missing people first came to the fore in March and the leftists and Islamists started slamming the Isha Foundation and Sadhguru hurling accusations at both. A user wished for the spiritual leader to be incarcerated.

A user even labelled the development as “scary” without looking further into the issue.

Another called the Sadhguru a “charlatan,” mocked his brain surgery and implied that rather than imprisoning him, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was utilizing him to garner votes. “This should have been the only question you should have asked ANI. This charlatan had himself claimed that doctors found his brain empty. How many people have gone missing from Isha foundation and when will your master stop using him for votes and send him to jail,” the person asked.

An individual wanted a profound inquiry into Sadhugurur’s past work and accused him of masquerading as a spiritual guide.

A netizen dubbed the disappearances as criminal and demanded a “serious” probe without even evaluating the case’s merits.

Now, the matter appeared to have been settled with the submission made by the Tamil Nadu Police to the Madras High Court.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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