Zee Media Bureau
Jodhpur: The Jodhpur court on Monday sent controversial godman Asaram Bapu, who is facing allegations of sexual assault on a minor, to 14-day judicial custody in connection with the case.
The court sent him to judicial custody since the Jodhpur police said that their investigation against the spiritual leader was complete.
Confirming the development, a senior police official said, “Asaram has been sent to judicial custody till September 15."
His bail application will now come up for hearing tomorrow. While coming out of the court, the self-styled godman asked his followers “to be patient.”
The 72-year-old, wearing a red cap and all-white dhoti-kurta, was produced before the court this evening amidst tight security. He was arrested past midnight Saturday from his ashram in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Asaram supporters gathered outside the Jodhpur central prison where he was taken following the court order. Shouting anti-government slogans, his supporters demanded that Asaram be released and alleged that he was being framed in the case.
The police had to use batons to break up a crowd of about 500 protestors.
The spiritual guru was earlier today quizzed at a guest house of Rajasthan Armed Constabulary (RAC) in connection with the case of sexual assault lodged against him by a 16-year-old girl.
The incident allegedly took place August 15 in his ashram outside Jodhpur city.
"Police after questioning him on Sunday evening interrogated him again today (Monday). His sevadar (caretaker) Shiva, who surrendered before the police on Saturday, was also questioned," Jodhpur police DCP Ajay Pal Lamba said.
Shiva was alleged to be standing outside the room where the girl was assaulted.
The officer added that Asaram has claimed innocence before investigators and denied the allegation of sexual assault levelled against him by the minor girl.
"Asaram has cooperated in the investigation. However, there are contradictions in his statements," the Lamba said. The police chief said Asaram underwent a medical examination and the doctors declared he was fine. Reports further claimed that a potency test was also conducted on him. However, the police refused to divulge the details of the potency test conducted on him.
The girl lodged a complaint on August 20, accusing Asaram of sexually assaulting her at his ashram in Jodhpur. Asaram has denied the charge, and his son has claimed the girl was "mentally unstable".
Asaram has been booked under various sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and the Indian Penal Code.
According to the allegations of the girl, who studied at Asaram`s ashram in Madhya Pradesh`s Chhindwara and stayed in a girls` hostel there, the guru sexually assaulted her on the pretext of exorcism.
With IANS inputs