Asaram to face arrest if he fails to turn up for questioning
Rajasthan Police is unlikely to give more time to spiritual guru Asaram Bapu to appear for questioning in connection with a sexual assault case filed against him by a 16-year-old girl, an official said Thursday
Asaram Bapu was Tuesday served notice at his ashram in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, asking him to appear before police in Jodhpur for questioning before or on Aug 30.
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.
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 police official told IANS that the seer has sought time till Sep 20, saying he will participate in several spiritual functions and give discourses over this period.
"Asaram gave a letter to the Jodhpur police team which had served him notice at Indore. In the letter, he has sought extension of the date for questioning," the police officer said.
Police, however, have decided to turn down the request, the official added.
"The reprieve cannot be granted on the reasons cited by Asaram. He is facing serious charge of sexual assault on a minor girl," said the official.
A notice was also served Monday at Asaram Bapu's ashram in Ahmedabad.
Asaram Bapu has been booked under various sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and the Indian Penal Code.
Rajasthan Police Tuesday also initiated formalities to get a look-out circular issued against the spiritual guru so that he can't leave the country.
A police official in Jodhpur said a letter has been sent to the immigration department in New Delhi to get the look-out circular issued against Asaram Bapu.
"We have initiated the process to get a look-out notice issued against Asaram as a precautionary exercise, so that he could not leave the country," the police official said.
A police team also inspected the spiritual guru's ashram near Jodhpur and recorded statements of several people to verify whether the girl and her parents were present at the ashram Aug 15 when the alleged incident took place.
"During preliminary investigation, it has come up that the girl and her parents and Asaram Bapu were present on 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 the ashram to meet him," said the official.