Indore: Controversial self-styled godman Asaram Bapu, against whom a complaint of sexual assault was filed by a teenage girl, on Sunday claimed that he was innocent and regards the minor as his "daughter".
"I feel very sad when this girl is termed as a rape victim. She is like my daughter, grand-daughter or niece. She is not a victim...Far from that. The rape victim is the one who is violated but this girl is pure in my view," Asaram said during a discourse at his Ashram located on Khandwa Road.
Asaram alleged that Hindu saints are purposefully being maligned as part of a larger conspiracy. "Baseless allegations are levelled against me because I preach Indian culture during my discourses. In last four-and-a-half years, I was accused of practicing black magic and tantric practices but none of them stood the legal scrutiny," he said.
The self-styled godman was recently booked for allegedly sexually assaulting the 16-year-old girl in Jodhpur ashram. He arrived here yesterday to spend time in "solitude".
"Allegations are levelled against me especially in the months of July and August because this is the period when monsoon frogs come out in open," the 72-year-old spiritual guru said.
When asked who was he pointing at with the metaphor of "monsoon frogs", Asaram parried the question, saying "you get trained yourself, and you will get to know the answer".
He replied in the negative when asked whether he would file a petition seeking anticipatory bail in the rape case. Asaram evaded a query whether he will produce himself before police investigating the case.
Asaram said that he would hold discourses across the country for jail inmates who are innocent and if needed he would help them getting legal aid.
To a query that he compared himself with Lord Ram, Srikrishna and Guru Nanak, Asaram said he merely spoke about their life events. "People spread this misinformation against me," he alleged.