This Article is From Aug 30, 2013

Sonia, Rahul Gandhi are ensuring I am persecuted: spiritual leader Asaram Bapu

Asaram Bapu outside the Bhopal airport

Bhopal: Spiritual leader Asram Bapu, accused of sexually assaulting a teenager, has alleged that Congress leaders Rahul and Sonia Gandhi have orchestrated the case against him.

"People are telling me that this is all happening upon the instructions of Madam and her son," he said after landing in Bhopal on Thursday, where policemen provided cover as he walked to his car. 

"It is a very unfortunate accusation, he must apologise to Soniaji and the nation," said Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi.

Asaram Bapu, who is 72, has been given till Friday by the Jodhpur Police to appear in the city for interrogation. Earlier this week, he suggested his packed schedule may not permit that. He flew into Bhopal today in a chartered flight from Indore and then headed to his ashram. In Madhya Pradesh, several leaders of the ruling BJP have defended him since the criminal case was filed against him.  

The teen complainant has said that he assaulted her at his ashram in Jodhpur in Rajasthan earlier this month. He has denied the charges; his son has described the 16-year-old as "mentally ill."