Ahmedabad: Controversial spiritual leader Asaram Bapu, accused of sexually assaulting a minor girl in Jodhpur, on Friday claimed he was innocent and alleged a conspiracy was afoot against him.
He further said even the great Buddha had faced such ordeals.
"I am innocent. The girl has been misguided by someone. Sooner or later, she and her family will realise this and will come to me," Asaram said on Friday. "It is a conspiracy. I know who are behind this, but I don`t want to name them," he told a Gujarati news-channel.
Meanwhile, After BJP leader Uma Bharti, BJP vice president Prabhat Jha also defended Asaram Bapu, terming rape charges against him as a `Congress conspiracy`.
Parents of the teenage girl filed a complaint against Asaram at Kamla Market police station in Delhi on August 20, alleging he had sexually assaulted her during the time they were visiting Asaram`s Jodhpur `Ashram`.
"Lord Buddha too had faced such kind of allegations and I am also facing the same. But the truth will come out. I am appealing my followers to keep calm, have patience and to ensure no harm is done to the family of this girl," he said.
Asaram also said "even if they put me behind the bars, I am willing to go to jail with a smiling face. And I think I want to spend some time in Tihar jail. I consider jail as my Vaikunth (heaven)."
Asaram had come under heavy criticism earlier this year after he said the victim of gang rape in Delhi would have escaped the ordeal had she called her attacker brothers and pleaded for mercy.
The controversial godman is also facing probe in connection with mysterious death of two teenaged boys who were studying at his Gurukul (residential school) in Ahmedabad.