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HindustanTimes Fri,01 Aug 2014

Asaram seeks more time to appear for questioning

PTI   Jodhpur, August 29, 2013
First Published: 03:03 IST(29/8/2013) | Last Updated: 03:04 IST(29/8/2013)

Controversial self-styled godman Asaram Bapu, facing allegations of sexual abuse of a minor, has sought more time from Jodhpur Police to appear before it for questioning.

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The police is yet to take any decision on his request.

"We have not yet received Asaram's application in this regard. The team bearing this application is yet to arrive in Jodhpur and before going through that request, we cannot say anything," DCP Ajay Pal Lamba said.

Asaram was served the summon at his Indore ashram yesterday, in which he was asked to appear before the investigating officer at Jodhpur latest by 30 August.

While receiving the summon, Asaram had told the team that he had various pre-decided religious fixtures lined up till September 19, and would not be able to appear for interrogation till then.

The team had then sought a written request in this regard.

"The team took the application from him to this effect, which we are yet to go through," said DCP Ajay Pal Lamba.

Lamba, however, said "we still would prefer to wait till August 30 before arriving at any decision in relation to bringing Asaram here for investigation."  It may be recalled that two separate summons had been served by Jodhpur Police -- one at his Ahmedabad ashram and the other to Asaram himself at his Indore ashram -- seeking him to appear before the investigating officer in Jodhpur latest by 30 September.

Meanwhile, the home Ministry sources said in New Delhi that the Rajasthan government has been advised not to give the self-styled godman any preferential treatment, and treat him as a commoner.

"Though the law and order is a state subject, it is our advice to the state government that there should be no exception in law enforcement. Asaram Bapu should only enjoy the rights that any other accused of a sexual offence would under the similar circumstances. No special treatment should be given to him," the advisory sent to Rajasthan government said.


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