Jodhpur: Self-styled godman Asaram‘s supporters on Saturday allegedly attacked CNN-IBN sister concern IBN7’s reporters Bhawani Deora. Another IBN7 video journalist have also been injured in the attack.
This happened as Bhawani was reporting the updates in connection with thesexual assault case against Asaram. In fact, earlier on Friday, Asaram failed to catch a flight to New Delhi, after he was prevented from entering the airport due to a clash between his enraged supporters who smashed TV cameras and other equipment carried by reporters waiting for him, sources said.
As news about the Gujarat High Court not entertaining his plea for an anticipatory bail spread, Asaram suddenly left his ashram for the airport, to catch his flight.
However, due to a scuffle between Asaram’s supporters and TV news cameramen waiting at the airport over recording his sound bytes, his supporters could not enter the lounge to catch the flight.
Later, his supporters fought with reporters again and even resorted to pelting stones at the media, while Asaram’s whereabouts were not known, sources said.
Meanwhile, the arrest of Asaram now seems imminent after he missed the deadline to appear before the Jodhpur police for questioning in the sexual assault case of a minor girl. The self-styled godman sent a fax to the police saying he will not be able to depose before them for questioning.
According to reports, Asaram has reached his Indore ashram. The Jodhpur police have dispatched a team to Indore. Sources say Asaram is likely to be arrested after the questioning. Security has been tightened in the city. Rajasthan senior police officers have asked for protection for their team from the Madhya Pradesh Police.
The police on Friday refused to grant any extension to him. The police say they have several teams monitoring Asaram’s whereabouts to ensure that he does not escape.
“We have received a fax from Asaram’s ashram saying that he wants more time as there has been a death in his family. He claims he isn’t well. We have decided not to give him any more time. Our teams will leave Jodhpur to investigate the matter soon. If he is found guilty, he will be arrested. He has no defence,” Jodhpur DCP Ajaypal Lamba said.
Asaram had applied for a transit anticipatory bail application filed by him in the Gujarat High Court which he later withdrew after the court indicated that it would not grant him bail.
Asaram is accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old schoolgirl and inmate of his ashram. The 16-year-old minor’s father said his daughter is still depressed over the incident and explained why they went to Asaram in the first place despite knowing there were so many accusations against him.
“We thought he is a great man and we should become his followers,” the survivor’s father said.
(With additional information from PTI)