Thiruvananthapuram: In a major setback for the Crime Branch, Kundamankadavu native Prashant, who had recently made the sensational disclosure that his late brother and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) activist Prakash led the 2018 arson at the ashram of Swami Sandeepananda Giri, has retracted his statement.
In a secret statement to the court the other day, Prashant said that he doesn't know about the incident, MMTV reported.
Prakash had committed suicide on January 3.
In an in-camera statement given to the Crime Branch a few weeks ago Prashant claimed the crime was committed by his brother Prakash.
The attempt to set ablaze the ashram, located at Kundamankadavu on the banks of the Karamana River in Thiruvananthapuram, took place during the wee hours of October 27, 2018. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was among those who visited the site soon after the incident.
Even though the case attracted widespread attention, there was no progress in the investigation carried out by the Crime Branch. Subsequently, the authorities had decided to close the case.
Meanwhile, the state government planned to take over the ashram and convert it into a wellness centre managed by Oushadhi, the state-run Ayurvedic enterprise.
The 73-cent plot on the riverside was reportedly ideal for the purpose, according to a report filed by Dr T K Hrideek, the Managing Director of Oushadhi. Moreover, the facilities at the ashram building could be utilized for the wellness centre, the report added.