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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

Asaram supporters converge on jail, seek darshan

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Jodhpur, September 19, 2013
First Published: 14:55 IST(19/9/2013) | Last Updated: 17:32 IST(19/9/2013)

For the faithful, their guru's imprisonment does not take away the 'halo' around him.

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Hundreds of supporters of self-styled godman Asaram, imprisoned on charges of sexually assaulting a minor girl, converged on the Jodhpur central jail on Thursday morning seeking darshan of their guru on the holy day of Sharad Purnima.

Police said that the supporters gathered at the gates of the jail since early morning, demanding that they be allowed to meet their guru to seek his blessings on the auspicious day.

The jail staff's requests to them to disperse went unheeded as they sat in groups and started singing bhajans.

Police too told them that as per jail rules, visitors could not meet Asaram but the followers refused to budge.

They insisted that since it was Sharad Purnima they would not eat or drink until they have darshan of their guru. The followers said they would leave only after getting a glimpse of Asaram.

Asaram is in custody for sexually assaulting a minor girl at his private ashram near Jodhpur on August 15. His judicial custody was extended till October 1 by a court on Wednesday. He was arrested from his Indore ashram in the early hours of September 1.

Meanwhile, the Rajasthan high court on Thursday deferred hearing on the bail plea of Shilpi, warden of the school where the minor girl was studying.

The court called for the case diary in the case and adjourned the hearing till Friday.

Shilpi was warden of the gurukul in Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh where the minor girl and her brother were studying. Police say it was Shilpi who told the girl's parents she had been possessed by evil spirits and they should approach Asaram who would cure her.


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