Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Thursday 06 May |
Saint of the Day: St. François Montmorency de Laval
home iconNews
line break icon

Indian Guru Charged with Rape

AFP /STRINGER

UCAnews - published on 09/02/13

Supporters' demonstrations turn violent

Protests have erupted in several Indian cities in support of a popular spiritual guru who was arrested and charged with rape on Sunday.

Asaram Bapu is accused of the assault on a 16-year-old girl in his ashram. The 72-year-old sage, who runs ashrams across the country, was taken by police to Jodhpur city in Rajasthan, where the incident allegedly took place.

His supporters claim however that the charges are part of a conspiracy to malign his name. Crowds blocked roads after the first media reports emerged of his arrest.

In Mumbai, protesters also halted trains and disrupted traffic. In the Chhattisgarh state capital of Raipur, supporters attacked journalists, policemen and passers-by.

Jodhpur commissioner of police, Biju Gorge Joseph, told media that medical experts conducted a potency test on Bapu and confirmed he was physically capable of committing the crime, despite his claims to the contrary.

The influential Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindus' Council) has termed the arrest an "anti-Hindu" act by the Congress-led coalition government in New Delhi.

Vishwa leader Ashok Singhal told media in Hyderabad on Sunday that the arrest was an insult to Hindus. "This is not about his arrest. This is telling the Hindu community that we will finish your feelings of respect towards a religious leader," he said.

Bapu had also accused Congress president Sonia Gandhi, the Italian-born Christian widow of late Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, of hatching a conspiracy against him.

The pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the principal opposition party, has however been cautious in its reaction. "The law should take its course," BJP vice president and lawmaker Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told ucanews.com.

Congress leaders have ruled out any political motive behind the arrest. Rajasthan Chief Minister and Congress leader Ashok Gehlot said police should be allowed to do "a job of unbiased investigation. We want whoever is guilty to be punished."

Originally published at UCAnews on 2 September 2013. Used with permission. All other rights reserved.

Tags:
India
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
2
I.Media for Aleteia
These 30 shrines will lead the Rosary Relay for end of the pandem...
3
MOTHER MARY
Cerith Gardiner
7 Ways to strengthen your relationship with the Virgin Mary
4
SAINT JOSEPH
Philip Kosloski
How to pray the Chaplet of St. Joseph
5
THE CHOSEN
Matthew Becklo
Yes, ‘The Chosen’ is that good—and just keeps getting...
6
SAINT Januarius
J-P Mauro
Watch the blood of St. Januarius liquefy in May 2021
7
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.