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Asaram devotees plough lonely furrow at Jantar Mantar

Image: Sapan Kapoor/NewsGram

New Delhi: Self-styled Godman Asaram has been lodged in a Jodhpur jail since September 1, 2013 for allegedly sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl in his ashram. There is little chance that he would be released anytime soon. However, his supporters camped at Jantar Mantar – the officially designated protest site in the national capital – see a ray of hope in actor Salman Khan’s acquittal in the hit-and-run case.

Kishan Murari, a saint from Ayodhya, has been camping out at Jantar Mantar – along with a dozen other devotees – so as to press his demand for Asaram’s release. He has also been counting the days his Bapu has been incarcerated.

“838 days,” Murari points out towards the number scribed on a white board, as he hands over a booklet to me in defense of Asaram and excoriates the media for working on an “agenda” against the latter.

Asaram was arrested from his ashram at Indore in Madhya Pradesh and brought to Jodhpur on September 1, 2013 on a complaint by a 16-year-old girl, accusing him of sexually assaulting her at his ashram near Jodhpur.

Image: Sapan Kapoor/NewsGram
Image: Sapan Kapoor/NewsGram

In her complaint, she alleged that Asaram’s aides sent her to his Jodhpur ashram on the pretext that she was under the influence of an “evil spirit” and he could perform an exorcism. The Godman has been in jail since then, and hearing of rape case is going on a day to day basis.

“Look at these hundreds of people who have been hungry for the past three days demanding Cooch Behar. Yet nobody from the media has bothered to report on them. All you journalists are crooks. Tum sab bikey hue ho (You all are sold out)”, the Asaram devotee thunders, as he asks me to read the booklet and work towards securing Bapu’s release.

“But isn’t it the prerogative of courts? How can we secure his freedom? It’s ultimately the judiciary that will decide his fate,” I try to educate him.

“The judiciary is corrupt; the government is corrupt; you are a crook too. You’re not even an Indian. All you media persons want is nothing but money. If we threw money at you, you’ll start dancing on our tunes as well,” he says in an angry vein.

The charges against the septuagenarian saint are serious and need to be investigated. However, he is innocent until proven guilty, I try to assure him.

“Where’s the country’s judiciary? In the police complaint filed by the girl, there’s no mention of rape. It’s not mentioned in the FIR and the medical report. As per the medical report her virginity was intact. No marks of injuries were found on her body. Yet, a conspiracy has been hatched against an innocent saint like Asaram and in a well-planned manner he has been incriminated by the media. An actor like Salman Khan can be acquitted of serious charges like murder but not Bapu,” Murari rues as he waves his fists in the air.

“Is there anything you want to add?”

“No, you may leave now. It’s time for our evening prayer in which we shall pray for Bapu’s release. Only God can help us now.”

Next Story

Actress Tanushree Dutta Compares Nana Patekar to Asaram Bapu

Demanding a lie detector test, and a narco-analysis test of those named in the FIR, Tanushreea¿s lawyer Nitin Satpute asked for the case to be transferred to the Mumbai Police Crime Branch, and a financial compensation for the actress

Nana patekar, metoo
'MeToo Movement' is far bigger than me: Tanushree Dutta. Wikimedia Commons

Actress Tanushree Dutta has compared Nana Patekar to self-proclaimed saint Asaram Bapu, who was found guilty of raping a minor girl in year 2018. She also slammed celebrities of Bollywood for continuing to work with choreographer Ganesh Acharya, who is also an accused in her case.

Tanushree was interacting with the media along with her lawyer Nitin Satpute in Mumbai.

She filed a protest petition against the B-summary report filed by the Mumbai Police in connection with her complaint against actor Nana Patekar.

The Oshiwara police, however, had filed a B-Summary report seeking closure of the case on grounds that no evidence to support her claims had come to light in their investigation.

In October 2018, Tanushree had filed a complaint following which the Oshiwara police registered an FIR against Nana Patekar, accusing him of sexually harassing her on the sets of the movie “Horn Ok Pleassss”.

The complaint also named director Rakesh Sarang, producer Samee Siddiqui and choreographer Ganesh Acharya of the film, as co-accused in the case.

nana patekar and tanushree dutta
Tanushree Dutta And Nana Patekar. DNA

Tanushree said: aceIf you have money, you will get justice and respect but if you dona¿t have money then you will not get that. He has money and he got that money from Naam Foundation. It collects crores of rupees from corporate sectors for the upliftment of poor farmers. He has created his image as a poor man who lives in a small house. It’s a big lie and he is doing all this for show.”

Tanushree added: “It is very easy to fool people. You just have to wear a white Gandhi topi and white kurta. Asaram Bapu also wore white kurta. He used to fold his hands in front of a temple and then he became a saint. Who is checking whether he (Nana Patekar) is actually giving that money to farmers?”

Tanushree continued with her allegations against Nana: “A few months ago, I heard that he is building 500 homes for flood victims. Who is checking? Tomorrow, I will say I am queen of Timbuktu, I have made big house on moon and I have built 500 homes for aliens, would you believe me? He has collected funds to build 500 homes for sure, but we don’t inspect people who are running NGOs.”

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Tanushree and her lawyers said that they have filed a protest petition with the Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court in Andheri, and that the first hearing was scheduled for January 17.

Demanding a lie detector test, and a narco-analysis test of those named in the FIR, Tanushreea¿s lawyer Nitin Satpute asked for the case to be transferred to the Mumbai Police Crime Branch, and a financial compensation for the actress. (IANS)