'No Govt. interference in Asaram Bapu case': Rajasthan CM Gehlot

New Delhi, Aug. 27 : Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Tuesday said that the investigation in the alleged sexual abuse case involving self-styled godman Asaram Bapu is on, and added that there is no interference from the government's side.

"The investigation is going on. The criminal must be punished according to me. There is no interference from the government side, and police should be given freedom to do their work," he told media here.

Gehlot had earlier this week said that appropriate action would be taken in this case on the basis of 'truth and facts'.

According to reports, a Jodhpur Police team earlier in the day reached Asaram Bapu's ashram in Indore to deliver summons to him in this case involving a minor.

The officials, who went to Asaram Bapu's ashram to deliver the summons to him, asked him to appear before the Jodhpur police for questioning by August 30 in the case.

The self-styled godman has so far denied all the charges leveled against him, and claimed the entire episode to be a political conspiracy.

Moreover, Asaram Bapu's aide Neelam Dubey has also defended him in this case of alleged sexual assault.

Asaram Bapu has been booked 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 on August 15, when the alleged sexual assault took place there.

The 16-year-old girl, who has accused the spiritual leader of sexually assaulting her at his ashram in Jodhpur, hails from Uttar Pradesh.

--ANI (Posted on 28-08-2013)

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