ROBBINSVILLE, N.J. (Diya TV) — The grand inauguration of the Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) Akshardham Temple in Robbinsville, N.J., coincided with a surprising turn in the class-action lawsuit filed against BAPS. Amidst the celebration, 12 workers, previously part of a labor lawsuit, officially withdrew their claims.

The new Akshardham Temple, the largest Hindu temple in the Western Hemisphere, celebrated its grand opening with a week-long festivity. His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj inaugurated the temple, with dignitaries and leaders from around the globe in attendance. 

Two and a half years ago, the temple was embroiled in controversy when it became the target of an FBI raid, coupled with a serious lawsuit accusing BAPS of labor violations. However, recent developments challenge the initial narrative. As first reported by the Castefiles, in July 2023, a dozen workers from India that were plaintiffs in the lawsuit retracted their claims.

Indian High Court Advocate Aaditya SB Soni, representing these workers, issued a press release alleging coercion into a conspiracy against the temple. The workers claimed they were misled by an American lawyer, Swati Sawant, with promises of U.S. citizenship and threats of police intervention.

On September 21, 2023, the law firms involved withdrew as counsel for the 12 plaintiffs. A letter from Paul Fishman, representing BAPS, expressed displeasure with the delay in executing the plaintiffs’ clear instructions to dismiss the case.

The latest legal document, filed on October 10, 2023, confirms the 12 workers’ official voluntary dismissal. It states none of the workers received settlements or monetary benefits, dispelling notions of compensation influencing their decision.

With the majority of plaintiffs retracting their claims, the future of the controversial lawsuit against BAPS remains uncertain.