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HindustanTimes Fri,01 Aug 2014

Hindu group activists attack Asaram Bapu ashram near Nagpur

Pradip Kumar Maitra, Hindustan Times  Nagpur, August 28, 2013
First Published: 19:20 IST(28/8/2013) | Last Updated: 00:59 IST(29/8/2013)

Tension prevailed in Fetri area, on the outskirts of Nagpur city, when a group of youths pelted stones and tried to ransack the ashram of Asaram Bapu on Wednesday afternoon. According to reports, a group of around 100-Bhim Sena activists, shouting slogans against Asaram, stormed the ashram at Fetri under Kalmeshwar tahsil around 1.30pm when Bapu’s disciples were busy with Janmashtami celebrations.

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They pelted stones and tried to damage the ashram with hockey sticks, stones and other weapons. The scared ashramites immediately alerted the Nagpur rural police. By the time police could arrive, all the attackers fled the scene.

The superintendent of police, Nagpur (rural) district, Manoj Sharma, informed that one Swapnil Gajbhiye was arrested by the police in this regard. The attackers were demanding immediate arrest of self-styled godman Asaram Bapu in the case of alleged sexual abuse of a minor. The agitators also annoyed with the remarks of spokesman of the godman against Gautam Buddha and Sikh guru, Nanak Saheb.

The godman has been booked for allegedly sexually assaulting the girl in a Jodhpur ashram on August 15, under sections of 376, 342 and 509 of the Indian Penal Code, section 8 of the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act and section 23 and 26 of the Juvenile Justice Act. The Jodhpur police on Monday delivered summons to 72-year old spiritual guru to appear before it for questioning by August 30 in connection with the allegation of sexual abuses.

“The police have seized four motorcycles of the attackers from the spot. However, no ashramites were injured following the attack. We have provided adequate security to the ashram area after the incident,” the district police super said.

Earlier, Sikh and Buddhist community here on Tuesday lodged a complaint with the Jaripatka police against Asaram for hurting their religious sentiments.

It was said that the spokesperson of the self-styled spiritual guru, Neelam allegedly made objectionable remarks against Gautam Buddha, Guru Nanak and other religious leaders while reacting to the rape allegations made by the minor girl against Asaram. The alleged remarks were made by Neelam during a discussion on a Hindi news channel.

A spokesman of the city police informed that an appropriate action will be initiated after verification of facts and investigation over the complaint.


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