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article imageAshes of Japan sarin attack cult guru to be scattered at sea

By AFP     Jul 11, 2018 in World

The cremated remains of the executed guru of the Japanese doomsday cult behind a deadly 1995 sarin gas attack will be scattered at sea to avoid creating a pilgrimage site for his followers, media reported Wednesday.

The lawyer representing the youngest daughter of Shoko Asahara, the charismatic leader of the Aum Shinrikyo sect, announced the plan a day after she agreed to collect his ashes.

The plan comes amid reports of a battle between other members of Ashara's family, including his wife, for his remains.

His wife and several other children remain in an Aum successor cult.

Asahara's youngest daughter, whose name has not been made public, is the only one of his children to break with it.

"(Asahara's) ashes bear grave importance to his followers," said lawyer Taro Takimoto, according to Kyodo News.

Takimoto and the daughter have agreed that it is best to scatter Asahara's remains in the Pacific Ocean to avoid creating any "holy land" for his followers, he said.

The lawyer also urged the government to protect the daughter from possible attacks from the guru's followers.

On Monday, Japanese authorities cremated 63-year-old Asahara, amid fears that his death could be used to reboot the cult.

Jiji news agency said Asahara's remains would stay at the detention centre where he was executed for now because of fears that his daughter could be assaulted by his followers if she came to collect them.

The near-blind leader, whose real name was Chizuru Matsumoto, was executed Friday for his role in the 1995 sarin attack on the Tokyo subway and other crimes.

The subway attack killed 13 people and injured thousands.

Six other members of the cult remain on death row.

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