Asaram Bapu walks out of the Jodhpur airport with police escorts
Religious preacher Asaram Bapu, who was arrested late on Saturday night from his ashram in Indore in Madhya Pradesh, has been brought to Jodhpur, where he is accused of sexually assaulting a school girl. He has denied the charges.
Asaram Bapu has been taken to a police station in Jodhpur, where he is currently being questioned. Sources say police may also take him to the scene of the alleged crime in his ashram, 35 km outside Jodhpur, for questioning.
The guru had missed a Friday deadline to report to Jodhpur in Rajasthan for interrogation. His son said he was unwell and could not leave Madhya Pradesh.
The 75-year-old spent the night with police escorts at the airport lounge in Indore. He was flown on a commercial plane to Jodhpur via Delhi.
Ahead of his arrival, the police are carefully monitoring entry points in Jodhpur to prevent Asaram Bapu's large legion of supporters from staging big shows of support. His ashram was sealed yesterday after some of his followers attacked the media for reporting that his arrest was imminent.
"There will be no law and order problem. We have deployed enough forces. Action will be taken against whoever breaks the law; however powerful he might be," Rajasthan Chief Ashok Gehlot said today.
A bodyguard, who was wanted by the police, surrendered in Jodhpur yesterday. He is accused of escorting the 16-year-old to meet Asaram Bapu alone in a room at his Jodhpur ashram on August 20. The guru had told her parents he would exorcize her of evil spirits.
Her father began a hunger strike yesterday at his village in Uttar Pradesh. "He should not be given bail or any kind of special treatment in jail. I appeal to the police to get a date in the court for a hearing soon," he said. He ended his fast after the arrest.