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Maharashtra: Osho Rajneesh's devotees forcefully enter his Pune ashram, police resort to lathi charge

Tension has been brewing between a group of disciples and the OSHO International Foundation (OIF) management since Tuesday.

Edited By: Arushi Jaiswal Pune Published on: March 22, 2023 18:15 IST
Maharashtra, Osho Rajneesh, Pune
Ashram management had on Tuesday allowed the followers wearing 'malas' to enter the premises but restricted them today.

After the devotees of late spiritual guru Osho Rajneesh were denied entry to Osho International commune in Pune with their "Osho Mala" (Rosary), several disciples on Wednesday forced their way into his ashram in protest against the management over the sale of the Ashram land. Even after several requests by police, devotees were adamant, hence, the police resorted to lathi charge to disperse the crowd.

Today around 150-200 devotees were denied entry with “Osho Mala” by the management following which they forced their way into the Osho International Meditation Centre (OIMC), situated in Koregaon Park area in Pune. Tension has been brewing between a group of disciples and the OSHO International Foundation (OIF) management since Tuesday.

Police detained a man after he became 'violent'

Outside the Ashram, police detained a man after he became 'violent' and tried to attack police personnel. The man was not a part of the group of protesters but he became aggressive after the followers forcefully entered the Ashram premises, a police officer said.

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Devotees were allowed to enter premises on Tuesday

Earlier on Tuesday, the followers were allowed to enter the premises wearing the "Osho Mala" by the Ashram management. "After our intervention on Tuesday, the followers were allowed to enter the Ashram campus with 'malas' but today these followers forcefully entered inside. A man, who is not a part of the followers' group, became unruly and violent and tried to manhandle police personnel forcing the police to use force to evict him from the spot," said Smartana Patil, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone II).

Swami Chaitanya Keerti, one of the protesters, claimed the Ashram management had on Tuesday allowed the followers wearing 'malas' to enter the premises but restricted them today. "During the commotion, a man who is said to be an Indian-origin US citizen who had not received 'diksha' (initiation) might have said something out of aggression and was whisked away by police," he said, adding that the followers do not know the man.

Maa Amrit Sadhana, the spokesperson and one of the trustees of OIF, on Tuesday, said the entry was allowed in view of maintaining the law and order. "To respect the law and order and to support the police, the management allowed them on the premises with 'malas' only for today (Tuesday) but from tomorrow (Wednesday), the usual rules will apply," she had said. The OIF management also claimed that Rajneesh had dropped the mala "long before leaving the body".

(With PTI inputs)

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