With only 24 hours to go before his possible arrest in a rape case, self-styled godman Asaram went into an allegation spree.
He questioned the minor victim’s credibility and dragged Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi into the controversy, alleging the police have been acting at their behest.
The Rajasthan police are ready to arrest Asaram if he fails to answer their summons by 30 August. “If he does not appear for questioning, we will arrest him,” said Biju George Joseph, police commissioner, Jodhpur. Asaram had already refused to answer the summons, saying he would be busy till September 19.
Asaram has been close to the Hindutva brigade and had managed to weather several controversies in the past, including cases of murder at his ashrams. His personal charge against Sonia and Rahul, whom he had not named, is now being seen as an effort to politicise the issue.
“I don’t want to blame any party but I have heard that police are acting at the behest of Madam and her son,” Asaram said in Bhopal on Thursday. Asked if any political party was supporting him, he lost his temper.
Asaram said he had earlier decided to go to jail and stay there till he proved himself innocent. But he changed his mind after he came to know that the police were working at the behest of “Madam and her son”. He said he feared being drugged in custody. Asked if he was levelling charges against Sonia Gandhi, he said he was merely mentioning what he had heard.
Pointing fingers at the victim, he said, “I was told by other girls at Chhindwara gurukul that the girl had told her friends that she would not be back in the ashram and that she would earn fame nationwide. The allegation against me is a conspiracy."
“We are upset and it has already resulted in a death,” he added. The death he referred to was that of the father-in-law of his son, who expired after a heart attack earlier in the day.
SC-monitored CBI probe sought
A Chennai-based resident has moved the SC seeking a court monitored CBI probe into an alleged sexual assault case involving self-styled godman Asaram Bapu (72).
The PIL, filed by DI Nathan, referred to the recent statement by Asaram’s son Narayan Sai that the minor girl was “mentally unstable” and said there was “low implementation” of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000.
“Direct a SC-monitored CBI probe into the rape incident of a minor by Asaram Bapu in the Jodhpur ashram premises,” Nathan stated in his PIL.
The petitioner has also sought a direction to the Home Ministry for an immediate scientific test to ascertain the biological age of the victims and to fast track the probe so that evidence was not obliterated.