Too scared to file complain; they were raped between 2002 and 2004
Controversial self-styled godman Asaram Bapu, who is presently lodged in a Jodhpur jail for allegedly raping a teenager, faces fresh charges with a First Information Report (FIR) filed in Surat against him and his son Narayan Sai on Sunday for sexual assault on two sisters.
The FIRs, lodged by the victims in Jehangirpura police station in Surat, alleged that they were raped between 2002 and 2004 in different Asaram ashrams. The elder sister has alleged that she was raped by Asaram at his Ahmedabad ashram, while the younger one charged Narayan Sai with sexually assaulting her at an ashram in Surat. They have claimed that they were taken to different ashrams in Madhya Pradesh and Bihar and raped there as well.
Surat Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana told journalists: “These are serious allegations. We have filed cases under several Sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 376 [rape]. We have also transferred the rape case, which had allegedly taken place at the Ahmedabad ashram to the local police there for the investigation. We are looking into the rape at the Surat ashram.”
The complainants have also alleged that Asaram’s wife and daughter were well aware of the sexual assaults at the Ahmedabad ashram. When the police asked the victims about the reason for the delay in filing the FIRs, they said they were too scared to do so.
The Police Commissioner added: “They mustered the courage to lodge a complaint only after the Jodhpur case and the subsequent arrest of Asaram. We will carry out a detailed investigation into the allegations.”
The ashram officials denied the allegations.
“If the incidents took place between 2002 and 2004, why are they opening their mouth now? There is some conspiracy brewing,” asserted ashram public relations officer Neelam Dubey.
“There have been such reports against Bapu since 2008. If they are actually rapists, how could Bapu have several hundred women followers?”