7 cops hurt in clash with Asaram's supporters

7 cops hurt in clash with Asaram's supporters

Aides demand release of self-styled godman

7 cops hurt in clash with Asaram's supporters

 Seven security personnel were injured in a clash with Asaram Bapu’s supporters at Parliament Street police station early on Monday.

Asaram’s supporters, however, blamed police for the violence and claim that 15 members of their group, including women, were injured and were treated at Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital.

Asaram’s supporters were demanding the release of the self-styled godman lodged at Rajasthan’s Jodhpur Central Jail since September 2013. He was arrested when a 16-year-old girl accused him of sexually assaulting her.

On Sunday, over 3,000 Asaram supporters gathered at central Delhi’s Jantar Mantar. Carrying placards and banners, they claimed that Asaram was framed in the case. 

At around 10.30 pm, around 500 members of the group moved towards the nearby police station at Parliament Street. Anticipating violence, police personnel from nearby police stations and paramilitary forces were told to report there.

At 12.30 am on Monday, police told the protesters to leave the area, telling reminding them that they did not have any role in Asaram’s arrest.

“The group was requested to clear the area on which they turned violent. They started pelting stones in which six police vehicles were also damaged,” said a police officer.

According to police, the SHO of Barakhamba Road police station and a woman constable were among the 7 injured. The condition of 3 of them is stated to be serious. They are being treated at Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital.

A case of rioting under Indian Penal Code was filed with Parliament Street police station on Monday. Asaram’s supporters alleged that police resorted to a lathicharge, but senior police officers denied it.

Sources said that Asaram’s supporters now plan to hold a protest march over the incident. They are holding meetings at Asaram’s ashram in central Delhi’s Karol Bagh to decide the further course of action. Asaram was arrested from his ashram at Indore in Madhya Pradesh and taken to Jodhpur on September 1, 2013.