Members of the Lok Sabha on Monday demanded stern action against Asaram Bapu against whom a teenaged girl has slapped rape charges.

The issue came up during the Zero Hour when the House was discussing the progress of the probe in the recent gang-rape of a Mumbai-based photojournalist.

“There is one sadhu who is taking the country for a ride. What have you done in the case? A young girl has slapped rape charges against him. The government should say something and do something on this. Why don’t you speak on this?,” Janata Dal (United) chief Sharad Yadav told Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde after making a statement on the Mumbai gang-rape case.

“Punishing this sadhu will send a strong message across the country,” Mr. Yadav asserted.

Several members including Gurudas Dasgupta (CPI) demanded stringent action against the controversial godman. The members wanted to speak on the subject but were not allowed by Speaker Meira Kumar.

In the melee, Harsimrat Kaur (Shiromani Akali Dal) also demanded death sentence for all such culprits.

Responding to the members, Mr. Shinde said cases like those of Asaram Bapu and the Jharkhand constable who was gang-raped were “primarily the concern of Sates.”

He said: “They are in preliminary stages of investigation. I don’t have information on them. Whenever I get the information, I will inform the House.”

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