Sonia & Rahul running a campaign against me, says Asaram Bapu | Deccan Chronicle
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Sonia & Rahul running a campaign against me, says Asaram Bapu

Agencies | 29th Aug 2013

Bhopal: Beleaguered self-styled godman Asaram Bapu on Thursday sought to drag Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul into the sexual assault controversy surrounding him, alleging it was at their instance that he has been framed.

"I am not against any party but people tell me that it is at the instance of madam and her son that this is happening. For four-years-and-a-half those behind (religious) conversions are getting their support," Asaram told reporters without naming Sonia or Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi.

In an immediate u-turn, when asked, by a reporter, if he was directly accusing Sonia Gandhi of playing a part in leveling the accusations, the self-styled godman said: "No, I don't accuse anyone. I am just saying what I heard, since you (the mediapersons) asked me the question."

He also categorically ruled out that he enjoys the support any political outfit.

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Asaram, who has been issued summons by Jodhpur police to appear before it on Friday for questioning in connection with the allegations of sexual assault by a 16-year-old inmate of his ashram, said he would not seek more time to present himself before the police.

The Jodhpur police had on Wednesday said it was yet to take any decision on Asaram's plea for more time.

"We have not yet received the application of Asaram in this regard. The team bearing this application is yet to arrive at Jodhpur and before going through that request, we cannot say anything," DCP Ajay Pal Lamba had said.

The self-styled godman said if he is sent to jail, he would begin a fast as he did not trust the food which would be served to him as 'part of a conspiracy'.

72-year-old Asaram, in the eye of a storm following allegations of sexual assault, flew into a rage when asked if anybody was protecting him. "Nobody is trying to protect me....what you are saying is wrong...no party is in my support...don't talk like this ...don't torment me," a furious Asaram told reporters, abruptly ending his media interaction.

As he was whisked away by armed police escorts, his supporters shouted slogans against the media.

Senior BJP leaders Uma Bharti and Prabhat Jha had recently defended Asaram, terming rape charges against him as a 'Congress conspiracy'.

Reacting to Asaram's allegations against Congress president and Rahul Gandhi, senior party leader Karan Singh said," A case has been filed against him so he is speaking like this. "But how can one speak like this without any proof. Tomorrow, if somebody says a case has been registered against him at the behest of Karan Singh, will you believe him," he asked.

According to sources, 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.

The girl, who is 16 years of age and from Uttar Pradesh, had made a complaint at a police station in the national capital on August 20, accusing Asaram Bapu of sexually assaulting her at his ashram in Jodhpur.

Asaram Bapu's son has defended his father in the sexual assault case and has called the victim 'mentally unstable'.

Media reports said the remark was made before followers in Gujarat, even as the victim's father alleged that he had been getting threatening phone calls over the case.

Earlier, the victim had said in her statement to the police that she was threatened by Asaram Bapu to remain silent about the incident.

Asaram Bapu has been booked under Sections 376, 342, 506 and 509 of the IPC, Section 8 of the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) and Sections 23 and 26 of the Juvenile Justice Act.

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