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HindustanTimes Wed,23 Apr 2014

Plea against Sai for hurting sentiments by wearing turban dismissed

PTI  Indore , February 25, 2014
First Published: 17:51 IST(25/2/2014) | Last Updated: 17:52 IST(25/2/2014)

A local court dismissed an application against self-styled godman Asaram Bapu's son Narayan Sai charging him with hurting the sentiments of Sikh community by donning a turban to evade arrest in a sexual assault case.

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President of local outfit 'Yuva Sikh Morcha', Gagandeep Singh Bhatia, had filed an application in the court of Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) Manoj Kumar Ladia contending that by sporting a turban while he was absconding from Surat police searching for him, Sai had hurt the sentiments of Sikh community.

Gagandeep's lawyer Indrajeet Singh Bhatia told reporters here on Tuesday that the court, while dismissing the plea on Monday, ruled that there is no legal basis in the complaint for trial of the case against Narayan Sai as Indian constitution permits each and every Indian citizen to wear a dress of his/her choice.

The court also observed Sai's wearing a turban does not prove that this has hurt the sentiments of Sikh community, he said.

Bhatia also said his client had mentioned in his complaint that in a bid to save himself from being arrested in a rape case, Sai had worn a turban thereby disguising himself as a Sikh, which hurt the religious sentiments of the community and this sent a wrong message among public about Sikhs.

Following a complaint of alleged rape against Sai by a Surat-based woman, Sai had been on the run and on December 4 was apprehended by police from Haryana-Delhi border. Police had caught 40-year-old Sai reportedly in the garb of a Sikh man sporting a red turban after evading arrest for 58 days.

The father-son duo are facing cases of sexual assault.

Two Surat-based sisters had lodged complaints against Sai and his father of rape, sexual assault, illegal confinement and other charges during their stay in the Gujarat ashram.

Sai's father guru Asaram has been lodged in the Central Jail in Jodhpur since his arrest in August 2013 on charges of sexually assaulting a minor girl in his 'ashram' there, besides being accused of raping a Surat-based woman.

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