April 10, 2023
ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)—This morning the Robbinsville Township Council has issued a statement regarding an investigation of BAPS.
The full statement is below:
Members of Township Council are profoundly disturbed by the recent findings at dwellings on North Main Street and Voelbel Road. The conditions found within those buildings, the number of occupants residing there, along with the myriad of Fire Code and Uniform Construction Code violations are obviously unacceptable. The safety and well-being of all residents and visitors to Robbinsville Township is paramount, and we will continue to do everything within our power to hold the person(s) responsible for these violations accountable. As Mayor Dave Fried stated previously in media interviews, all the houses known to be boarding dozens of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha volunteers have been shut down with some deemed uninhabitable until all required repairs are completed, and inspections conducted. All Code violations found will be pursued in Municipal Court. Robbinsville Township Administration and the Police Department have referred the case to the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office. While outside agencies are investigating, including the FBI, we ask for your patience as they carefully and methodically review the case.
While we understand people want to know all the details as soon as issues occur, that is not always possible because those pieces of information could very well disrupt and even derail an investigation. There is a team of people working hard every day to keep everyone safe. Please keep in mind Robbinsville officials, with the help of residents, initiated these raids.
Please continue to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the Township Administration and our Police Department. Also feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Debbie Blakely – President
Mike Todd – Vice President
North Main Street
4 thoughts on “Robbinsville Township Council Issues Statement Regarding BAPS Investigation”
As someone who has previously lived in these accommodation houses, I would like to offer a little bit of insight on what it was like to actually live there. Although my family home is 45 minutes away from the volunteer site, I still preferred these accommodations as the environment felt like home. The reason I liked living there is because after a day of volunteering, it was nice to bond with the other volunteers and get to know them on a more personal level. We would play games, hang out, eat food, and get to wind down together. I wouldn’t trade my experience living there for anything because I think it truly made a positive impact on my volunteering experience. The friends I made during my stay became like family and the memories will last a lifetime.
Moving into these two residences, I was nervous to be living across the country with new people, a new space, and a new routine. I missed the comfort of home and being so close to my family that looked after every need before I knew what I wanted myself. However, after spending a year in Robbinsville – I can confidently say I have built a home here with a family much larger than mine back in NC. I miss living with other volunteers in these houses because we made it our home. We would host zumba classes in our downstairs living room, spend time planning birthdays in our kitchen and have late nights eating each other’s snacks. My favorite memories of volunteering are built within the walls of these houses. Long lasting friendships and genuine connections. The two greatest things I gained from living here.
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I lived at the Main Street house for more than three months. My experience during the time was simply homely. I found new friends who didn’t let me miss my family. I come from the south, several hundred miles away, and it became my home away from home. We were provided nice laundry machines, and never once did I have to buy my own detergent or even toilet rolls. After an exhausting day of volunteering on my feet all day, I looked forward to the hot showers and relaxing on the comfy bed provided. On top of that, we were given pillows, blankets, basic cleaning supplies, etc. I had never lived away from my own home previously, and fortunately, due to the manner we were taken care of, the transition was very smooth. My friends share similar experiences there, and we made several memories living together, memories that we will cherish for a lifetime.
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