Six Asaram Bapu supporters detained for attacking journalists in Jodhpur

Last Updated: Sat, Aug 31, 2013 07:10 hrs

Six supporters of self styled godman Asaram Bapu were detained for attacking media personnel outside his ashram in Jodhpur.

"We have taken six people into custody. Interrogation is on in the case," Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Ajay Pal Lamba said.

According to reports, Asaram's supporters allegedly attacked CNN-IBN sister concern IBN-7's reporter Bhawani Deora. Another IBN-7 video journalist was also injured in the attack.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari condemned the attack on the two journalists by Asaram Bapu's supporters.

"The assault on journalists by a religious preacher's followers is disturbing and condemnable. Is this what they teach and preach to their flock?" he asked.

Social activist Swami Agnivesh also condemned the attacks on the media personnel and squarely blamed the Rajasthan Government for the incident.

"I will blame the Government of Ashok Gehlot for all of this. The more they delay the investigation, Asaram Bapu and his supporters will get more confidence that the government cannot do anything. They have started assaulting people, media persons and breaking their cameras. I would like to congratulate the media for exposing Asaram Bapu not just in this case, but even in the past. The state government and the police should save media personnel from attacks by Asaram Bapu's supporters. The police reached an hour late near the Jodhpur ashram where the media people were assaulted," he said.

"Is this a conspiracy between Ashok Gehlot and Asaram Bapu? I want to ask Ashok Gehlot what is he afraid of? Being in power, if he and his police team are unable to investigate this case, then he is not fit for this post. I want to appeal to the Central Government to intervene in this. I also want to appeal to (Union Home Minister) Sushil Kumar Shinde to come forth and establish that this country is governed by laws and no one is above the law," he added.

On Friday. Jodhpur Police refused to give Asaram Bapu more time to present himself in connection with a case of sexually assaulting a minor at his Jodhpur ashram.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Ajay Pal Lamba said a team would be sent to Bhopal to investigate the alleged sexual assault case against Bapu.

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.

Besides the summons served on Asaram Bapu, notices have also been issued to the manager of the Chhindwara gurukul in Madhya Pradesh, the hostel warden and the main caretaker of Asaram, who was present at Manai Ashram in Jodhpur on August 15, when the alleged sexual assault took place there.

The 16-year-old girl, who has accused Asaram Bapu of sexually assaulting her at his ashram in Jodhpur, hails from Uttar Pradesh. (ANI)

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