Asaram Bapu, spiritual guru, charged with sex crime (UPDATE: In jail, no bail)

Another sexorcism? This one is described more as assault. Controversial Indian guru in custody over sexual assault charge on a minor.

Asaram sexually assaulted her on pretext of exorcism, alleges victim : North, News – India Today.

Police may Monday take spiritual guru Asaram Bapu to his ashram near Rajasthan’s Jodhpur city where a 16-year-old girl is alleged to have been sexually assaulted, an official said.

The girl lodged a police complaint Aug 20, accusing the 72-year-old Asaram of sexually assaulting her at his ashram. Asaram has denied the charge, and his son has claimed that the girl was “mentally unstable”.

Asaram has been booked under various sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and the Indian Penal Code.

More from BBC News – Asaram Bapu: India guru in custody over ‘sex assault’.

The 72-year-old guru – whose main ashram (religious centre) is in the city of Ahmedabad in Gujarat state – has millions of followers in India and he is hugely popular for his discourses on Hindu religion and religious practices.

The girl’s family say they have been followers of the controversial guru for 12 years.

In their complaint to the police, the family alleged that Asaram Bapu asked the teenager to stay back after prayers last week and assaulted her while her mother waited outside.

Previous comments he made regarding the girl who was gang raped in Delhi (and later died) garnered disgust from Indians as he said she should have pleaded for mercy. Now it is alleged that the charges are politically motivated.

UPDATE (4-Sept-2013) The girl speaks out and Asaram is denied bail.

According to the complaint filed by the family, Asaram had sexually assaulted her for more than an hour inside a room in his Jodhpur ashram as her parents sat outside chanting prayers for the “ritual” her daughter was supposed to be undergoing.