Self-proclaimed god-man Asaram Bapu's supporters on Saturday allegedly attacked IBN7's reporter Bhawani Deora and another IBN7 video journalist, reports CNN-IBN.
The attack took place when the godman's supporters gathered outside Asaram's ashram in Jodhpur and took exception to the presence of the press. Bhawani was reporting on the updates in connection with the sexual assault case against Asaram. It seems that the supporters were particularly angry at Bhawani and asked him why his channel IBN7 was not referring to their leader as 'Bapu.'
According to the IBN7 reporter Bhawani, there was no police presence outside the ashram and the police did not take the report that journalists were being attacked seriously. The supporters not only beat up the journalists, but also pelted stones on an OB van and broke their cameras. The reporters were luckily rescued by villagers.
Reacting to the incident CNN-IBN editor-in-chief Rajdeep Sardesai said, 'It is shameful that someone who calls himself a godman is tangled in this. This is not an attack on just IBN7 but on the entire media. This has happened to other channels as well over the last few days. One should no longer call him Bapu cause that conveys reverence and this is clearly an attempt to stop the media as the media was exposing his land grab and sexual assault."
Earlier on Friday, Asaram failed to catch a flight to New Delhi from Bhopal, after he was prevented from entering the airport due to a clash between his enraged supporters who smashed TV cameras and other equipment carried by reporters waiting for him.
Asaram is accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old schoolgirl and inmate of his ashram. The 16-year-old minor's father said his daughter is still depressed over the incident.
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Updated Date: Aug 31, 2013 11:43:45 IST