Protests held against Asaram Bapu's comments on Delhi gang-rape
Ahmedabad (Gujarat): Nearly 100 activists of Bharatiya Samajik Sena, an organisation claiming to fight social evils, on Monday protested here against self-styled godman Asaram Bapu's alleged remarks that the Delhi gang-rape victim should have addressed the rapists as her "brother".
Condemning Asaram's comments, Bharatiya Samajik Sena president Sanjay Gadhvi told PTI that "we demand that Asaram apologise to the women of the country and urge him to take back his words".
Holding banners and placards reading "Shame on Asaram, Shame on Asaram", protestors burnt his effigies in Jashodanagar area of the city and said they would continue to organise protests across the city and the state if he does not apologise for his comments.
Gadhvi also said they plan to throw black ink on the spiritual guru's posters and also protest at the venue of his programmes.
Another member of the organisation, Harshad Patel, said "when the entire country is with the victim, why is Asaram not speaking for her?"
Addressing his followers recently, Asaram had said that when the girl encountered six drunk men, "she should have taken god's name and could have held the hand of one of the men and said 'I consider you as my brother and should have said to the other brother I am helpless, you are my brother, my religious brother'. She should have taken god's name and held their hands and feet. Then, the misconduct wouldn't have happened".
He also went on to say "Galti ek taraf se nahi hoti hai (mistake is not committed merely by one side)."
The girl was gangraped on the night of December 16 in a moving bus and died nearly a fortnight later at a hospital in Singapore.
Asaram Bapu's ashram in Motera here has been in the news for over the last five years following the mysterious death of two children Dipesh and Abhishek, who used to study in the ashram's gurukul, after allegations that black magic was being practiced inside the ashram premises.
The state government had also set up the Justice D K Trivedi Commission to probe the death of the two children on the Sabarmati river bed on July 5, 2008, after going missing on July 3.