Asaram Bapu denies sexually assaulting minor
Zee Media Bureau
Jodhpur: Trouble appears to deepening for controversial godman Asaram Bapu, who is currently under scanner for sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl at his Jodhpur ashram recently.
Reports on Friday said that the Jodhpur police, probing the allegations of sexual exploitation against Asaram, has corroborated the statement of the victim by examining the evidence in the case.
According to police, the girl`s statement matches prima facie with what they found following inspection of the scene of the alleged crime at Asaram`s ashram at Manai village.
Police are now preparing to interrogate Asaram at his ashram in Ahmedabad.
"Soon, our team will leave to interrogate Asaram," said Commissioner of Police, Biju George Joseph. He, too, visited the Manai ashram yesterday with other police officials.
"We have verified the facts mentioned by the girl in her statement.
"Prima facie, her statements and the scene of crime stand verified through physical inspection of the spot," he added.
"The owner of the land on which the said ashram stands at Manai village has also confirmed the presence of the girl and her parents at the spot as mentioned by them in their statements," he said.
Interestingly, the admission of Ranjeet Dewra, the owner of the land who is also a follower of Asaram`s, that the accused was present there from August 12 to 16 contradicts the statement made by a spokesperson for the godman`s main ashram in Ahmedabad, claiming he was not present in Manai on August 15.
The spokesperson had said that Asaram had left Jodhpur after two days of meetings there on August10 and 11.
But Dewra said Asaram was there till August 16 and that the girl was also present during the same time with her parents at the ashram.
Meanwhile, supporters of Asaram have termed the entire episode a conspiracy against him in view of his rising popularity.
A group of devotees from the Jodhpur ashram yesterday staged a demonstration and submitted a memorandum addressed to the Chief Minister to the police, the divisional commissioner and the district collector demanding a fair probe in the matter.
"It is a malicious attempt to defame Bapu and shake the faith of his devotees," said Chanchal Raj Sharma, the spokesperson for the Jodhpur ashram. He, too, maintained that the accused had not met anybody at Manai ashram. "Bapu was in solitude here from Aug. 12 to 16 and did not meet anybody," Sharma said.
Meanwhile, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had said that he was personally monitoring the probe and had received a feedback in the case from the police commissioner.
Delhi Police had filed a case against Asaram on the complaint of the minor that he had sexually assaulted her at the Jodhpur ashram.
A case of sexual assault was registered at Kamla Market police station against him under relevant sections of IPC after girl`s medical examination.
However, since the incident took place in Rajasthan, the case was transferred to Jodhpur.
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