This Article is From Aug 27, 2013

Sexual assault case against Asaram Bapu: Home Ministry steps in, writes to three states

Sexual assault case against Asaram Bapu: Home Ministry steps in, writes to three states

The Rajasthan Police issued summons to the self-styled godman yesterday.

New Delhi: The Home Ministry has written to the governments of Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan seeking reports on the complaints against spiritual leader Asaram Bapu, who has been accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl. The Rajasthan Police issued summons to the self-styled godman yesterday and gave him four days to come for questioning. This is not the first controversy linked to the 72-year-old.

Here is your 10-point cheat-sheet to this story:

  1. The Delhi Police have registered a FIR against Asaram in the sexual assault case. Sources have told NDTV that apart from the summons, the Rajasthan Police will issue alerts to airports across the country in case Asaram Bapu tries to leave the country.

  2. BJP Vice President Uma Bharti, who was mired in controversy over her tweet that said Asaram Bapu was innocent, has told NDTV that she is not running a campaign to save the self-styled godman. "I was not defending Asaram Bapu, what I was saying was there should be proper use of the law," she said.

  3. The issue was raised in Parliament yesterday with the Opposition demanding answers from the government. But Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde stumped many by referring with reverence and respect to "Asaram Bapu ji."

  4. The 15-year-old girl, who alleged last week that Asaram Bapu asked her to stay back after prayers at his Jodhpur ashram and sexually assaulted her, also said that the spiritual guru threatened to hurt her and her family if she reported the crime.

  5. The spiritual leader said some people were trying to "malign the image of saints". He said the complainant was "blameless and pure." "Her parents are my disciples, that makes her my grand-daughter," Asaram Bapu said in Indore yesterday.

  6. But Asaram Bapu has reportedly admitted that he did meet the girl, whose family in Uttar Pradesh have been his followers for 12 years.

  7. The Jodhpur Police say they have crucial evidence against Asaram Babu. Police officers told NDTV last week that the girl's description of the place where she was allegedly assaulted was accurate.

  8. In January this year, Asaram Bapu was severely criticised for his comment on the Delhi gang-rape; He had said that the girl could have escaped rape had she called her attackers brothers, fallen at their feet and begged to be let off.

  9. In the past, the spiritual leader has been accused of involvement in land-grab cases in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.

  10. Born in a village in Pakistan, Asaram Bapu grew up learning spirituality and meditation from his mother. After leaving home, he travelled the country till he joined the ashram of saint Lilashah in Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh. Over the years, he gained popularity with his mass satsangs - or discourses - in cities across India.