All eyes are on Asaram Bapu, on Friday, whether he will appear before the Jodhpur police for questioning over charges of sexually assault on a 16-year-old girl. Asaram, who has been booked under various sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and the Indian Penal Code, will face arrest if he fails to appear before the Jodhpur Police today.
Meanwhile, reports today said that the self-styled godman’s lawyer has called up the police and told them Asaram won’t be able appear for questioning due to a relative's death. However, there has been no official confirmation from Asaram’s ashram.
The controversial godman was, Tuesday, served notice at his ashram in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, asking him to appear before police in Jodhpur for questioning before or on Aug 30. The self-styled godman, citing prior engagements till Aug 31, has sought more time to appear before police. However, the police had rejected his demands.
The family of the girl yesterday alleged that they were being pressurised to let go of the matter. Pooja Ben, a close disciple of Asaram Bapu, had come to the family's house and pleaded with them to end the matter, the father of the girl said in Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh. "She (Pooja Ben) came to our house, touched the feet of my wife and requested her to withdraw the matter and also admitted that Asaram Bapu had committed a grave mistake," the father of the girl alleged. The girl studied at Asaram's ashram in Madhya Pradesh's Chhindwara and stayed in a girls' hostel there.
Asaram (72), yesterday, indirectly targeted Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul gandhi alleging he was being framed at their instance. "I am not against any party but people tell me that it is at the instance of madam and her son that this is happening. For four-years-and-a-half those behind (religious) conversions are getting their support," Asaram told reporters in Bhopal without naming Sonia or the Congress vice president.
Meanwhile, three aides of Asaram failed to appear till late on Thursday evening before Rajasthan Police for questioning in connection with the sexual assault case. Police had summoned hostel warden Shilpi, hostel attendant Keshav and Asaram Bapu's caretaker Shiva for questioning on Thursday.