Agnivesh slams Asaram, demands CBI inquiry in case

Last Updated: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - 21:36

New Delhi: Attacking Asaram Bapu, activist Swami Agnivesh Tuesday demanded a CBI probe into sexual assault allegation against the self-styled godman and trial by a fast track court, saying the case was mere a "tip of the iceberg".

"We see the arrest albeit delayed as moral victory over blind faith and superstition perpetrated by godmen of the likes of Asaram.

"But, it is only a tip of the iceberg. Emboldened by this arrest, more victims will now come out, more skeletons will now tumble out of the closet," Agnivesh said.

He said arrest of the 72-year-old Asaram has sent a "wave of joy" among all those who had been fighting against superstition and blind faith and it will also serve as a "warning bell" to all those "prominent babas" who enjoy "media limelight" and consider themselves "above law".

"We appeal to the Home Minister to order a CBI probe into this case.... We also appeal that the cases be tried by a fast-track court as per the new Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act," he said.
"This will serve as a warning to all those godmen who think they are immune to the law of the land and above the Constitution," he said.

Agnivesh also termed the arrest as a "symbolic victory" and "true tribute" to 69-year-old social activist Narendra Dabholkar, who was shot dead on August 20 in Pune.

"This arrest also serves as a true tribute to Dr Dabholkar, who fought against superstition all his life. The martyr`s soul will rest in peace now," he added.
Agnivesh said it was not just a case of "abuse of a woman" but of "abuse of people`s faith".

He praised Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot for getting Asaram arrested "without thinking of vote-bank politics".
He also praised the role of media. "I acknowledge support of media too right now unlike their previous avatar where most channels had started running shows on horoscopes and astrology, which promoted superstition among people," he said.

Asaram was yesterday remanded in 14 days` judicial custody by a Jodhpur court following his arrest for allegedly sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl. He has denied the allegations against him.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - 21:36

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