Sexual assault: Asaram Bapu claims he is innocent, draws comparison with Buddha; BJP defends him

Asaram Bapu rape.jpg

Ahmedabad: Controversial spiritual leader Asaram, accused of sexually assaulting a minor girl in Jodhpur, on Friday claimed he was innocent and alleged a conspiracy was afoot against him.
He further said even the great Buddha had faced such ordeals.
"I am innocent. The girl has been misguided by someone. Sooner or later, she and her family will realise this and will come to me," Asaram said on Friday. "It is a conspiracy. I know who are behind this, but I don't want to name them," he told a Gujarati news-channel.
 
Meanwhile, After BJP leader Uma Bharti, BJP Vice President Prabhat Jha also defended Asaram Bapu, terming rape charges against him as a 'Congress conspiracy'.
Congress conspiracy behind rape allegations against Asaram Bapu, says BJP
Parents of the teenage girl filed a complaint against Asaram at Kamla Market police station in Delhi on August 20, alleging he had sexually assaulted her during the time they were visiting Asaram's Jodhpur 'Ashram'.
"Lord Buddha too had faced such kind of allegations and I am also facing the same. But the truth will come out. I am appealing my followers to keep calm, have patience and to ensure no harm is done to the family of this girl," he said.
Asaram also said "even if they put me behind the bars, I am willing to go to jail with a smiling face. And I think I want to spend some time in Tihar jail. I consider jail as my Vaikunth (heaven)."
Asaram had come under heavy criticism earlier this year after he said the victim of gang rape in Delhi would have escaped the ordeal had she called her attacker brothers and pleaded for mercy.
The controversial godman is also facing probe in connection with mysterious death of two teenaged boys who were studying at his Gurukul (residential school) in Ahmedabad.
Next: Police teams sent to Asaram's ashrams before he is quizzed

Police teams sent to Asaram's ashrams before he is quizzed
Jodhpur: Police teams fanned out to various ashrams of self-styled godman Asaram Bapu on Friday looking for evidence based on the statement of the girl, who has accused him of sexual exploitation, before he is quizzed.
Police Commissioner Biju George Joseph said that Asaram can be approached for interrogation in next 2-3 days. "We have sent different police teams for different ashrams of Bapu, where the parents and girl, together or alone, have visited as mentioned by them to the police", said DCP (West) Ajay Pal Lamba.
He said that a team has also sent to Chhindwara Gurukul, where the girl has been studying for the past few years in order to verify the statements of the girl and her parents. However, police have not approached Asaram till now.
"Of course that will be the part of investigation, but before that, we want to verify certain facts," said Joseph. He said that he can be approached for interrogation in next 2-3 days.
Lamba said, "We are in the process of collecting scientific evidence in order to verify the allegation of the girl and then we will proceed to interrogation of Bapu". He said that so far it has been proved that the girl along with her family and Asaram were present in the ashram during the period mentioned in the girl's complaint but it is not yet certain that they met in isolation.
Meanwhile, the girl and her parents have left for their home in Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh, under police security.
"We have seen off the family on Thursday night. We have asked the police there to ensure adequate security measures for the family", Lamba said. An FIR was lodged against Asaram for allegedly raping the 15-year old girl in his ashram. However, a spokesperson of his ashram claimed the Asaram was innocent and was being implicated.
The controversial spiritual guru had earlier been in the news when two children living in his ashram in Gujarat had gone missing and were suspected to have been killed. 
 

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