Jodhpur Police rejects Asaram Bapu's appeal for more time

Jodhpur, Aug 30 : The Jodhpur Police on Friday said self-styled godman Asaram Bapu would not be given more time to present himself in connection with the sexual assault case.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Ajay Pal Lamba, who gave this information to media here, said that a team would be sent to Bhopal tonight to investigate the alleged sexual assault case on Asaram Bapu.

"We had asked Asaram Bapu to present himself before the Jodhpur Police by August 30 and he did not appear today. We received a fax from his ashram, which stated that he won't be able to come to Jodhpur from Bhopal because of his ill-health and a personal family loss," said Lamba.

"Thus, he appealed for more time on these grounds. We did not see any valid reason to do so and therefore we have decided not to give more time to Asaram Bapu.
We are sending a team to Bhopal tonight to investigate this. Once investigation is over, we will decide on arresting Asaram Bapu," he added.

According to reports, Asaram Bapu was to catch a flight to Delhi from the Bhopal Airport this evening. He, however, could not catch the flight.

Asaram Bapu has said the allegations of sexual assault are a political conspiracy crafted by Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.

"I don't want to oppose any party, but I've been told that all of this has been orchestrated by Madam and her son (Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi). So, I said, let them do whatever they are doing," Asaram Bapu told media yesterday.

Asaram Bapu's son has defended his father in the sexual assault case, and has called the victim 'mentally unstable'.

Earlier, the victim had said in her statement to the police that she was threatened by Asaram Bapu to remain silent about the incident.

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 Asaram Bapu of sexually assaulting her at his ashram in Jodhpur, hails from Uttar Pradesh.

--ANI (Posted on 31-08-2013)

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