Asaram Bapu told to appear before police

Indo Asian News Service

Jaipur, Aug 26 (IANS) A notice has been sent to Asaram Bapu, asking the spiritual guru to appear before the police for questioning in connection with a sexual assault case registered against him by a 16-year-old girl a week ago, police said Monday.

The girl had made a complaint at a police station in Delhi Aug 20, accusing Asaram Bapu of sexually assaulting her at his ashram in Rajasthan's Jodhpur city, police said.

A first information report (FIR) was registered against Asaram Bapu in Jodhpur after receiving a copy of the complaint from Delhi Police Aug 21.

"A sub-inspector rank officer has been sent to Ahmedabad where he will deliver the notice to Asaram Bapu. He has been asked to appear before police within the next four days," a senior police official told IANS.

The official said that whether Asaram Bapu is found at the Ahmedabad ashram or not, the notice will be executed there.

"Asaram Bapu will be interrogated when he makes himself available for questioning," said the official.

Asaram Bapu has been booked under various sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and other sections of the Indian Penal Code, the official said.

A police team inspected the spiritual guru's ashram near Jodhpur Thursday and recorded statements of several people to verify whether the girl and her parents were at the ashram Aug 15 when the girl says she was sexually assaulted.

"During preliminary investigation, it has come up that the girl and her parents and Asaram Bapu were present in the ashram Aug 15. The owner of the land, which is being used for the ashram, told police that the girl and her parents had come to ashram to meet him," said the official.