As the demand for Asaram Bapu's arrest grew more strident, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot today promised "strict action" based on the outcome of the probe into sexual assault allegations against self-styled godman Asaram Bapu.
72-year-old Asaram's son Narayan Sai, meanwhile, in comments that could stoke a controversy called the 16-year-old girl who levelled the allegations as "mentally unstable".
Gehlot, who met Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde in New Delhi to brief him on the probe in the Asaram case, also said police should not come under any pressure while conducting its probe. The Jodhpur police is probing the allegations of sexual assault levelled by a 16-year-old girl against Asaram.
The Jodhpur police said it was yet to take any decision on Asaram's plea yesterday for more time to appear before it in connection with the case. Asaram has been summoned to appear before the Jodhpur police on or before August 30.
After his meeting with Shinde, Gehlot also said that seers and saints should stay away from controversies as they are revered and respected in society and are connected with religious beliefs.
"Let me reiterate that police should not come under any pressure while conducting its investigation and it will not happen. Strict action will be taken based on the outcome of the probe," he told reporters when asked when Asaram would be arrested.
Gehlot made it known that he has already said no one is above law and law should take its own course.
"Saints should maintain sanctity in society so that there is no scope of raising finger of accusations against them. They are revered and respected and are connected with religious beliefs," he said.
Addressing his supporters in Rajkot, Sai said the girl seems to be mentally unstable.
"She used to take around two to two-and-half hours to bathe.... She seemed to be mentally unstable. To solve this problem, the parents of the girl accompanied her from Chhindwara to Jodhpur to take her to Asaram Bapu," he said.
In Jodhpur, DCP Ajay Pal Lamba said a decision is yet to be taken regarding Asaram's request seeking more time for his appearance before the police.
"We have not yet received the application of Bapu in this regard. The team bearing this application is yet to arrive at Jodhpur and before going through that request, we can not say anything", he said. The self-styled godman has rejected the sexual assault allegations against him.