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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Send 'child saint' to school, rules Andhra rights panel

June 15, 2010

Sify (India)
June 14, 2010

Andhra Pradesh State Human Rights Commission
(SHRC) Monday ordered that 'child saint'
Sambhavi, who claims to be a childhood friend of
Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama in her previous life, should go to school.

Delivering its verdict on petitions filed by a
group of rationalists and human rights activists,
SHRC Chairman Subhashan Reddy directed the
collector of Kurnool district to enrol her in a school within a week.

He said the girl should have all the rights of a
child and the parents should not claim that she
is a 'child saint'. The panel noted that
Sambhavi's parents themselves claimed the girl possessed 'supernatural' powers.

'Whoever may be the parents, they can't do
whatever they want with their child,' Reddy said.

Ruling that Sambhavi is a 14-year-old, the
Commission said that the authorities should make
arrangements to enrol her in a school.

Sambhavi had attracted people's attention last
year by claiming to be the Dalai Lama's disciple
in her previous life. She also predicted that
Tibet would get independence in 2012.

After her claims, people started thronging an old
temple at Suryanandi in Kurnool district for her 'darshan'.

For the last one year, the child had been at the
centre of a row between Usha Rani, her caretaker,
and rationalists and human rights activists who
were demanding that the child be sent to school.

They alleged that her 'caretaker' and some others
with vested interests were exploiting her
childhood and demanded her release from their 'illegal detention'.

Rani gave a new twist to the case in December
last year by revealing that she was the mother of
the girl. She also revealed that after the death
of her first husband in Guntur district, she had
gone to an 'ashram' in Varanasi, where she
married yoga teacher Saumya Acharya. She claimed
Sambhavi was born at Tirupati in 2002.
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