Demand for action against Asaram Bapu from political leaders
New Delhi: BSP chief Mayawati on Tuesday demanded strong action against self-styled godman Asaram Bapu who has been accused of sexually assaulting a minor, while Congress leader Digvijay Singh said instead of "running away", he should present himself before Jodhpur police to assist the probe.
Demanding strong action against Asaram, Mayawati said Rajasthan government "should not allow such people go scot free".
She was speaking to reporters outside Parliament.
Digvijay Singh said it was not the first time that such complaints have been levelled against Asaram.
"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 levelled against him."
The Congress leader was asked about BJP unit in Madhya Pradesh coming out in support of the godman.
"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," Singh said.
Jodhpur police yesterday delivered summons to Asaram Bapu`s representative in Ahmedabad asking the godman 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.
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.
Members in Lok Sabha had yesterday demanded stern action against Asaram.
"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.
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