Indian religious leader arrested for rape-A A +A
Sunday, September 1, 2013
JAIPUR, India — A controversial spiritual guru was arrested early Sunday on a rape charge filed by a teenage girl in the northwestern Indian state of Rajasthan, police said.
Asaram Bapu was arrested at a spiritual retreat in central India and flown to the city of Jodhpur where police say he is wanted for allegedly raping the girl, said top police officer Ajay Singh Lamba.
The teenager filed a complaint two weeks ago accusing the Hindu religious preacher of raping her when she visited his retreat in Jodhpur with her mother. The girl's family said they have been followers of Asaram Bapu for more than a decade.
However, Asaram, who has hundreds of thousands of followers in India and is well known for his discourses on Hindu religion, has denied the charge.
Hundreds of his supporters thronged on Saturday the ashram and attacked television crews when Rajasthan police arrived at his retreat to arrest him.
He was questioned for nearly three hours before he was arrested, police said.
The case is the latest in a series of high-profile rape cases in India that have fueled public protests and raised questions about how police handle the cases and treat the victims.
Earlier this year, the religous leader outraged many Indians when he said the victim of a gang rape on a New Delhi bus would have been let off if she had addressed her attackers as brothers and pleaded with them to spare her. (AP)