Asaram's daughter distances herself from his activities

Bharti also claimed ignorance about Asaram’s future legal actions, after Jodhpur court pronounced him guilty in the rape of a minor and sentenced him to life imprisonment. DH File Photo

Self-styled godman Asaram’s daughter Bharti on Friday sought to distance herself from her father and his empire, stating that she had taken a different path long back.

“My situation is that of a sandwich. The Ashram management believes that I have been independent of the ashram for over 17 years but the world outside believes that I am very much involved in the daily affairs of the ashrams,” Bharti told reporters outside Gandhinagar court on Friday.

Bharti had come to the court for a hearing in the Surat rape case against Asaram, where she and her mother Lakshmi have been named in the charge sheet as accomplices in the crime.

The case pertains to a complaint filed by a Surat-based woman, who accused Asaram of raping her multiple times between 1997 and 2006 at his ashram in Ahmedabad city.

Apart from Bharti and Lakshmi, four other women followers — Dhruvben, Jassi, Nirmala and Meera have been booked for abetment of rape.

When asked about Jodhpur court’s verdict in the minor rape case, Bharti said, “For that, you will have to ask Bapu…We need to respect the verdict of the court…in the past too such allegations have been levied against saints, whether true or false.”

Bharti also claimed ignorance about Asaram’s future legal actions, after Jodhpur court pronounced him guilty in the rape of a minor and sentenced him to life imprisonment.

“The legal team in Jodhpur does not consult us. Whether they would go to high court or not will be decided by them. I have no knowledge,” she said.

Meanwhile, the hearing in Gandhinagar court could not take place as Asaram failed to appear in the court via video conference.

The court has now posted the case for hearing on May 4.

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