Will arrest Asaram Bapu if he fails to prove himself innocent: Police

Asaram has been booked under various sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and the Indian Penal Code.

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: As all eyes are on Asaram Bapu whether he will appear before the Jodhpur Police on Friday for questioning over charges of sexual assault on a 16-year-old girl, DCP Ajay Lamba said that no further extension will be given to the self-styled godman.

When asked whether Asaram would be arrested if he fails to appear before the police, DCP Lamba said that they are expecting him by today evening and after interrogation only they will decide whether to arrest him or not.

“Today is the last day and we are still hoping that he will appear before us for the investigation,” the DCP said.

“If he (Asaram) doesn`t have anything to prove himself innocent, then there will be no option but to arrest him,” DCP Lamba further said.

Commenting on the reports that the self-styled godman’s lawyer has called up the police and told them that Asaram won’t be able to appear for questioning due to a relative`s death, Lamba said that police doesn’t have any application now, adding “if we get an application will check on the facts.”

Asaram has been booked under various sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and the Indian Penal Code.

The controversial godman was, Tuesday, served notice at his ashram in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, asking him to appear before police in Jodhpur for questioning before or on Aug 30.

The self-styled godman, citing prior engagements till Aug 31, had sought more time to appear before police. However, the police had rejected his demands.

The family of the girl yesterday alleged that they were being pressurised to let go of the matter.

Pooja Ben, a close disciple of Asaram Bapu, had come to the family`s house and pleaded with them to end the matter, the father of the girl said in Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh.

"She (Pooja Ben) came to our house, touched the feet of my wife and requested her to withdraw the matter and also admitted that Asaram Bapu had committed a grave mistake," the father of the girl alleged.

The girl studied at Asaram`s ashram in Madhya Pradesh`s Chhindwara and stayed in a girls` hostel there.

Asaram (72), yesterday, indirectly targeted Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul gandhi alleging he was being framed at their instance.

"I am not against any party but people tell me that it is at the instance of madam and her son that this is happening. For four-years-and-a-half those behind (religious) conversions are getting their support," Asaram told reporters in Bhopal without naming Sonia or the Congress vice president.

Meanwhile, three aides of Asaram failed to appear till late Thursday evening before Rajasthan Police for questioning in connection with the sexual assault case.

Police had summoned hostel warden Shilpi, hostel attendant Keshav and Asaram Bapu`s caretaker Shiva for questioning on Thursday.