Asaram receives summons after six-hours long meditation session

Last Updated: Tue, Aug 27, 2013 10:48 hrs

Indore: Controversial self-styled godman Asaram Bapu on Tuesday received summons for questioning from a Jodhpur police team in connection with the alleged sexual assault case filed against him by a 16-year-old girl, after making them wait for nearly six hours.

The two-member team, which reached his ashram on Khandwa road on the outskirts of the city at 8 am, served the summons to Asaram at around 2 pm after being told by ashram functionaries that he was meditating and cannot be disturbed.

"We have served the notice to Asaram around 2 pm for appearing before the police in the matter," sub-inspector (SI) Bhanwar Singh told reporters outside the ashram.

Asaram has assured to cooperate with the police in the matter, he said.

Jodhpur police has directed Asaram to appear before it for questioning within four days of receiving the notice.

The summons were issued after initial investigations found that there was prima facie a case against him which needs to be probed.

Asaram has been asked to appear before police on or before August 30, to record his statement, police said.

He 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 in connection with the alleged assault.

Besides the summons served on Asaram, notices have also been issued to the manager of Chhindwara gurukul in Madhya Pradesh, hostel warden and the main caretaker of Asaram, who was present at Manai ashram in Jodhpur with him when the alleged sexual assault took place there.

The girl was studying in Asaram's Chhindwara gurukul before she was sent to Jodhpur ashram, police said.

The self-styled godman has claimed that he was innocent and regards the minor as his "daughter".

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