Asaram Bapu demands 'gangajal' in jail

Asaram Bapu demands 'gangajal' in jail

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Asaram Bapu being led into the Jodhpur prison

Jodhpur:  Religious preacher Asaram Bapu, who has been accused of sexually assaulting a schoolgirl in one of his ashrams, spent the night in the Jodhpur Central jail ahead of a hearing on his bail plea.

The 75-year-old wants to be freed on grounds that he is 'unwell'. He has been kept in the barracks next to the jail dispensary. Sources said he refused to drink any water without adding drops from his bottle of 'gangajal' or holy Ganga water.

Yesterday, clashes broke out between police and Asaram Bapu's supporters outside the prison, where the preacher was moved after a local court sent him to 14-day judicial custody.

The police said Asaram Bapu is "lying" about a neurological condition that gave him headaches, and doctors had found him medically fit. The cops also said he is capable of sexual assault - he cleared a "potency test".

The spiritual leader who teaches yoga and meditation was arrested from his ashram in Indore on Saturday night. He says he is innocent and denies that on August 15, he spent nearly an hour alone with the 16-year-old complainant at his ashram in Jodhpur.

He has told the police that instead, he met the girl and her family as part of the massive crowd that gathered for his 'satsang' or religious discourse.

But the police say they have sufficient evidence and have corroborated the girl's statement. They told the court that their investigation was complete.
Story First Published: September 03, 2013 08:27 IST

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