Asaram Bapu arrested
Indore: Controversial godman Asaram Bapu, accused of sexually assaulting a minor, was arrested by Jodhpur police from his ashram here late Saturday night.
Armed with a medical report that the godman was fit to be interrogated, a team of Jodhpur police arrested 72-year-old Asaram and whisked him in a white jeep about half an hour after the stroke of midnight, after waiting for nearly eight hours at the ashram.
"Asaram Bapu has been arrested and taken away by Jodhpur police", said Superintendent of Police (Indore West) Anil Singh Kushwah told reporters here.
Asked where Asaram was taken to, Kushwah said "I have no information on that", amidst reports that he was headed to Indore Airport to be flown to Jodhpur where an FIR was filed by a 16-year-old girl alleging she was sexually assaulted by the godman at his ashram in the Rajasthan city.
As the vehicle carrying Asaram and Jodhpur police made its way out of the ashram in Indore, hundreds of his supporters, watched by posse of policemen, shouted slogans against the police and supporting the self-styled godman.
Earlier in the day, Jodhpur DCP Ajay Lamba had said that his team will arrest Asaram if it is not satisfied with his defence against the allegations of sexual assault.
Strong contingents of police personnel were deployed at the ashram even as Asaram's supporters protested the arrival of the Jodhpur police team, after which the religious preacher to ask them to stay calm.
As soon as the Jodhpur police team reached Asaram's ashram in Indore and met its personnel, it was told that he was presiding over a congregation and that it will have to wait for some time.
TV footage showed an ambulance entering the ashram premises earlier in the evening with a report from doctors of Indore Medical College that Asaram was medically fit to be questioned.
The police move for arresting and questioning came even as supporters of Asaram attacked a TV reporter and a cameraman at his Jodhpur ashram leaving them injured.
Police said 13 people, including a woman have been arrested, in connection with the attack.
Lamba said Jodhpur police got a fax from Indore ashram of Asaram yesterday in which it was stated that Asaram had a "neurological problem" after he underwent a medical examination by doctors of Bhopal Medical Colege.
He said Asaram would be arrested if it was not impressed with his response to the charges of sexual assault.
Earlier in the day, there had been speculation for several hours about Asaram's whereabouts but the suspense nded when Asaram's son Narayan Sai claimed he is not evading the police and is recuperating at his ashram in Indore from illness.