Asaram Bapu and his son Narayan Sai (file pic)
Spiritual leader Asaram Bapu, already in jail on charges of sexually assaulting a schoolgirl, has been accused of rape, along with his son, by a pair of sisters.
One of the women, who has complained, lived in the guru's ashram or retreat at Surat in Gujarat. The police says it was unable to locate Narayan Sai and has issued a lookout notice for him; airports have been alerted to ensure he does not leave the country.
Asaram Bapu, famous for his large workshops at which he instructed thousands of followers in meditation and spirituality, was arrested more than a month ago after a schoolgirl said he sexually assaulted her at a room at his ashram in Jodhpur in Rajasthan. He has denied the charges; his son, Narayan Sai has said the girl is mentally disturbed.
The two sisters, who have now registered a case of rape against the father and son, say that the teenager's courage in seeking justice motivated them to take action.
While the one who has accused Narayan Sai of assault lived at an ashram in Surat, her sister stayed at Asaram's ashram in Ahmedabad.
Describing their allegations as a "conspiracy," Neelam Dubey, a spokesperson for Asaram Bapu said, "If they are rapists, how can there be several hundreds of women followers of Bapu?"