Asaram Bapu questioned for 4 hours, sent to police custody for a day in sexual assault case

Asaram Bapu questioned for 4 hours, sent to police custody for a day in sexual assault case

Asaram Bapu outside a Jodhpur court on Sunday.

Jodhpur:  A local court gave the Jodhpur police one-day custody of religious preacher Asaram Bapu, arrested on Saturday night from his Indore ashram for allegedly sexually assaulting a 16-year-old schoolgirl.

The self-styled godman was questioned for about four hours on Sunday by Jodhpur police. Cops said Asaram is medically fit and cooperating with the investigation. He has denied the allegations so far, a senior police official said.

The police also took the spiritual leader to Hari Om ashram in Manai, 35 km from Jodhpur, to verify the events and the scene of the crime. The teenager was allegedly assaulted on August 15 in the same ashram.

The 72-year-old godman has been kept under police custody at the Rajasthan Armed Constabulary Battalion campus after his request for being allowed to stay at his ashram was rejected.

Having evaded the law for 12 days, the religious preacher now faces some tough questions.
The Rajasthan police is probing why a minor girl was brought to the self-styled godman for her alleged exorcism when police have found no evidence of the minor's illness.

Asaram's supporters, meanwhile, launched a pressure campaign with protests in Delhi, Mumbai, Patna and Bhopal alleging conspiracy against their leader.

A political blame game also started with senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh questioning the silence of top Bharatiya Janata Party leaders on the controversial guru.

"The most vocal voice of BJP against atrocities against women has been Sushma Swaraj. Why is she quiet in Asharam Bapu's case?" tweeted Mr Singh last night.

To which Ms Swaraj responded, "In our country we have a law that is same for everybody. There is no one big and no one small and law will take its own course."

Digvijaya's tweet coincided with a picture of him seeking Asaram's blessings, when he was the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, being shared on social networking websites.
Story First Published: September 01, 2013 23:34 IST

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