BSP chief Mayawati on Tuesday demanded strong action against self-styled godman Asaram Bapu who has been accused of sexually assaulting a minor. Mayawati said Rajasthan government ‘should not allow such people go scot free.’

Commenting on the issue, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh, "I would say that instead of running away, Asaram Bapu should present himself before the Jodhpur police and help in the investigations in complaints against him by a girl in Jodhpur. This is not the first time that such complaints have been leveled against him."
    
On being asked about Madhya Pradesh BJP coming out in support of Asaram, Digvijay Singh said, "In any complaint by a woman or a girl, onus of proving innocence and burden of proving innocence lies on the accused. He should present himself before the law if he thinks that he is innocent."
    
Jodhpur police on Monday delivered summons to Asaram Bapu's representative in Ahmedabad asking the godman to appear before it by August 30 for questioning in connection with the allegation of sexual abuse leveled against him by the 16-year-old girl.
     
He has been booked under sections 376 (rape), 342 (wrongful confinement), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 509 (Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the IPC, section 8 of the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) and sections 23 and 26 of the Juvenile Justice Act.
    
The mood in Lok Sabha over the issue was quite heated in Lok Sabha had on Monday as well.

"There is one sadhu who is taking the country for a ride. What have you done in the case?...Punishing this sadhu will send a strong message across the country," JD-U chief Sharad Yadav told Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde with several members including Gurudas Dasgupta (CPI) demanding stringent action against the controversial godman.

Jodhpur Police team reaches Asaram Bapu’s Indore ashram to deliver summons

A Jodhpur police team on Tuesday reached controversial self-styled godman Asaram Bapu's ashram in Indore to deliver summons to him in the case of alleged sexual abuse of a minor.

Two cops went to the ashram to deliver the summons to Asaram Bapu, asking him to appear before Jodhpur police for questioning by August 30 in the case, Bhawar Kuan police sources said. Ashramites told the two-member Jodhpur team that 72-year-old Asaram was in meditation.
    
Jodhpur police on Monday delivered summons to Asaram Bapu in Ahmedabad to appear before it for questioning by August 30 in connection with the allegation of sexual abuse levelled against him by the 16-year-old girl. The summons was delivered to a representative of Asaram.
    
The godman has been booked for allegedly sexually assaulting the girl in a Jodhpur ashram on August 15 under sections 376, 342, 506 and 509 of the IPC, section 8 of the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) and sections 23 and 26 of the Juvenile Justice Act.
    
Besides the summons served on Asaram Bapu, notices have also been issued to the manager of Chhindwara gurukul in Madhya Pradesh, hostel warden and the main caretaker of Asaram, who was present at Manai ashram in Jodhpur with him when the alleged sexual assault took place there.
    
The girl was studying in Asaram's Chhindwara gurukul before she was sent to Jodhpur ashram, the police said. The self-styled godman has claimed that he is innocent and regards the minor as his ‘daughter.’

(JPN/Agencies)

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