Indore: Soon after a criminal petition was filed against rape accused Asaram Bapu at the Rajasthan High Court, the controversial godman headed straight for his ashram in Indore in his private jet.
Asaram, who has been accused of raping a minor girl at his Jodhpur ashram, has surprisingly evaded arrest for quite some time despite grave allegations against him. Notably, rules appeared to have been bended for 72-year old Bapu, despite medical reports of the victim confirming her allegations.
It raises an obvious question. Why are authorities reluctant to arrest the septuagenarian everytime his name features in controversy. Last time, he had hit headlines in 2008 and later in December 2009 for charges as grave as murder to attempt to murder. But despite a complaint being filed, no action was taken against him.
A striking feature in the previous two cases was that both took place in Bharatiya Janata Party ruled state of Gujarat. The shoddy pace of investigation by state authorities suggest that his following runs deep spanning from locals to police personnel who are often reluctant to act against their revered guru.
Notably, it was only last year in September that Gujarat CID filed a chargesheet against Asaram Bapu’s ashram in connection with mysterious deaths of two kids who were found near his ashram way back in April 2008. While seven of his employees feature in that chargesheet, Asaram reportedly finds no mention in the damning document.
Bapu had even dared police in Ahmedabad to arrest him while he was delivering sermons to his followers in the city, apparently knowing such an eventuality wouldn’t arise at all in first place in Gujarat.
Sympathies for guru run high even in Madhya Pradesh, with prominent BJP leaders including Uma Bharti and national vice-president Prabhat Jha openly backing Asaram, terming rape allegations against him as ‘conspiracy of Congress’.
In fact, DNA quoted its sources who are aides of Asaram telling that his move to Indore is a strategy to avoid arrest in the rape case as the saint's followers have allegedly convinced him that he will be safe in Madhya Pradesh.
The following which he commands was evitable when his band of supporters took out a huge procession in favour of the septuagenarian from Kamla Nagar locality in Delhi few days ago. Significantly, a complaint against Bapu had been filed by minor victim’s parents at the Kamla Nagar Police station.
Fortunately, the recent probe instituted by Rajasthan Police is the swiftest action against Bapu’s offenses in recent times. However, it might well turn out to be eyewash considering that Rajasthan, which also has large following of Bapu, goes to poll later this year.
After all, how can you explain a man been accused of child rape still roaming free from onse state to another without even being questioned.
Compare it with swift arrests made in Mumbai gang-rape, and things become clearer.