Rajasthan government has been told to act fast

Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde is reportedly not happy with the way the State governments have dealt with cases related to the self-styled godman Asaram Bapu.

“Previously also there have been several complaints against Asaram Bapu on which the State police have failed to act impartially. In the latest case related to alleged sexual assault of a young girl by Asaram Bapu in Rajasthan, the State government has been told to carry out a proper probe without succumbing under any pressure.”

“We have written to Delhi, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh governments to send reports regarding action taken on the complaints that have so far been filed against Asaram Bapu. There is a lot of pressure from political parties and social and women’s rights activities in the Jodhpur case…The Rajasthan government has been told to act fast,” a senior official said.

On Tuesday senior political leaders expressed displeasure over the police failure to act against Asaram Bapu. While Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati and Janata Dal (United) President Sharad Yadav demanded “immediate” and “strong action” against Asaram Bapu, senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh asked him to cooperate with the police.

“I would say that instead of running away, Asaram Bapu should present himself before the Jodhpur police and help in the investigation. This is not the first time that such complaints have been filed against him…He should present himself before the law if he thinks that he is innocent,” Mr. Singh told journalists here.

But JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav was more critical of Asaram Bapu and the manner in which the police were dealing with the case.

“I brought it up in Parliament and will say it again — what is the difference between what happened in Mumbai [gang-rape case] and this case? They are both the same. Why does the government give more focus to Mumbai? It is because it is a bigger city and this happened in a smaller place. The government should investigate and hand out punishment, equally,” Mr. Yadav demanded.

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