Self-styled godman Asaram Bapu, facing charges of sexual assault on a minor girl, today said the police were acting against him at the behest of the “madam and her son”, a remark directed at Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi.
“I don’t want to blame any party, but I have been told the police were acting on the directions of the madam and his son. They have been harassing me and my devotees. The result of the harassment has led to the death of one of them,” Bapu told reporters at Raja Bhoj airport.
The godman flew to Bhopal on learning about the death due to cardiac failure of the father-in-law of his son at an ashram in Gandhinagar on the outskirts of Bhopal on early Thursday morning.
Bapu, who had earlier told the media he was willing to remain in jail till proven innocent, said he dropped the idea after learning about the involvement of “the madam and her son” because he feared “something might be mixed with his food, causing adverse impact on his brain”.
Asked if he referring to Sonia and Rahul, he said, “I am not accusing anyone, but just narrating what I have been told because you (media) have been compelling me to speak on the issue.”
The girl, studying at a school run by Bapu’s ashram in Chhindwara, Madhya Pradesh, had charged him with forcing her into oral sex at an ashram in Jodhpur on August 15.
After filing a case, Rajasthan Police had summoned Bapu on August 30. However, citing engagements, he has sought more time to appear before the police.
Bapu alleged Rajasthan police had tried to pressurise other girls at Chhindwara school to testify against him, but the girls bailed him out by saying he could never be wrong.
In fact, Bapu said, the police had hastily run away from the school after the girls shouted slogans against them.
Some Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, including Uma Bharti, have come out in support of the godman, alleging he was being targeted for his anti-Congress views.
Asked whether he was being supported by the BJP, the seer snapped at the media persons. "No party is defending me. This is wrong. You are trying to harass me," he said.