'Sexual abuse': Jodhpur cops summon Asaram

Asaram BapuAsaram reportedly left for Indore late on Saturday night to evade the interrogation

Spiritual guru Asaram Bapu was served a notice to appear before the investigating officer in Jodhpur by August 30 in connection with the sexual assault charges levelled against him by an Uttar Pradesh-based minor. The notice, issued by investigating officer Assistant Commissioner of Police Chanchal Mishra's office, was sent to his Ahmedabad ashram, but since Asaram was not available there, it could not be delivered to him personally.

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Asaram reportedly left for Indore late on Saturday night to evade the interrogation and is said to be consulting his legal aides to deal with the notice. Sources in Jodhpur Police said a team is likely to head to Indore to keep a close watch on Asaram's moves.

Notices were also served to the hostel warden and the manager of the gurukul in Chhindwara, Madhya Pradesh, and the attendant at Manai ashram in Jodhpur who was with Asaram on August 15, to appear for a joint interrogation when Asaram comes to Jodhpur. The victim and her family too have been called in for the joint interrogation.

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Deputy Commissioner of Police, Jodhpur, Ajay Pal Lamba told the Indian Express, "We have issued a notice to Asaram Bapu to appear for interrogation in Jodhpur by August 30. While the victim's statements have been verified and it has been established that there was no conspiracy to malign Asaram's image, it is now the turn of the accused to put forward his defence. If he fails to appear by the given date, appropriate legal action will be taken."

Meanwhile, local activists and representatives of the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) held demonstrations outside the state Legislative Assembly on the first day of the Monsoon Session on Monday demanding Asaram's arrest at the earliest.

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