Asaram Bapu supporters attack mediapersons

Police were on Saturday clueless about the whereabouts of Asaram Bapu, who is believed to have fled his Bhopal ashram, as Jodhpur Police was on his trail for arresting him in connection with the charge of sexual assault of a minor girl.

A large number of his supporters gathered outside his ashram at Khandwa Road in Indore while his whereabouts are not known after he left Bhopal in a vehicle on Friday evening.

The self-styled godman was summoned by Rajasthan Police for questioning in connection with a case of alleged sexual assault but he did not appear before them yesterday when the deadline expired.

In view of the presence of large number of his supporters at his ashram in Indore, police have deployed their personnel near the premises.

“In view of a large number of Asaram supporters gathering in the ashram, adequate police force has been deployed around it. Senior officials are keeping an eye over the situation,” Bhanwarkuan police station in-charge Ashok Tiwari said.

Mr. Tiwari claimed Indore Police had no information about the whereabouts of the 72-year-old religious preacher, who has been accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old schoolgirl, who was an inmate of his ashram in Jodhpur.

Specifically asked if Asaram is present in his Indore Ashram, the official said he has no idea.

He said the Jodhpur Police, probing the case, has not contacted their Indore counterparts so far on the issue.

After leaving Bhopal on Friday, Asaram, along with his son Narayan Sai, was reportedly spotted in a sport utility vehicle at the Dewas Toll Naka near here.

The police, however, did not confirm the same.

Earlier in the day, supporters of Asaram Bapu allegedly attacked a TV reporter and a cameraman at his Jodhpur ashram, leaving them injured.

“We came here for coverage on information that Asaram’s supporter were arriving from different places. As we reached, some of his followers targeted us and snatched our camera. The locals came to our rescue,” the TV reporter alleged.

Police have detained six persons in connection with the attack.

“We have identified and detained six persons from the Ashram. Other involved in the attack are also being rounded up,” the police said.

Tewari condemns attack

Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari condemned the attack tweeting, “The assault on journalists by a religious preacher’s followers is extremely condemnable and disturbing.”

Mr. Tewari asked, “Is this what they teach and preach to their flock.”