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Asaram taken to Jodhpur,police get one-day custody

Following a night of intense drama,Asaram Bapu was flown to Jodhpur on Sunday noon from Indore via New Delhi.

Written by Sweta Dutta | Jodhpur | Published: September 2, 2013 3:29 am

Following a night of intense drama,Asaram Bapu was flown to Jodhpur on Sunday noon from Indore via New Delhi. The self-styled godman who was arrested on Saturday night was taken to the RAC 1st Battalion campus in Mandore,on the outskirts of the city,for interrogation and later produced before the district magistrate (rural) and sent to police custody for a day.

Jodhpur Police Commissioner Biju George Joseph said they needed time to clarify a few things. “We will seek an extension (of custody) if required,” he said.

The Jodhpur police is confident of building a water-tight case as Asaram has reportedly not produced any strong defence. Charges slapped against him are non-bailable and the burden of proof rests on the accused under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.

Late on Sunday night,Asaram tested positive in a potency test which strengthened the case against him.

“Until the accused is able to prove with visual evidence that no such incident took place,he will be held guilty. While the charges against Asaram are non-bailable,he could get bail on grounds of old age,something he has been repeatedly citing,” said a source.

More arrests are likely as police have also found strong case against three of Asaram’s disciples — the attendant at Manai ashram in Jodhpur where the alleged sexual assault took place,the manager of the Chhindwara gurukul where the girl studied and its hostel warden.

The attendant,who was interrogated on Friday,testified that the girl and her parents had come to the ashram,but managed to prove with the help of train tickets that he was himself travelling on the night of the alleged incident (August 15). The other two have missed the deadline of August 29 to present themselves before police.

Officials said Asaram,who earlier threatened to refuse food and water,has been cooperating.

Police also took him late Sunday evening to the Jodhpur ashram to reconstruct the alleged crime.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot,who was in Jodhpur to inaugurate an educational institute,said,“A fair investigation is being carried out and if the accused is found guilty,strictest punishment should be meted out.”

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