The state government has decided to lodge Asaram in Nadiad sub-jail whenever he is sent to judicial custody,as they perceive a potential threat to the self-styled godman in Sabarmati central jail. However,one of the main reasons behind sending the accused to Nadiad sub-jail,and not Sabarmati central jail,seems to be that Asarams disciple and suspended DIG D G Vanzara is also lodged in Sabarmati jail. Vanzara is in jail in connection with fake encounter cases.
Referring to Asaram,Vanzara had reportedly written to Chief Minister Narendra Modi: I considered you my god,but when you couldnt help my guru then how could I expect you to help us who have sacrificed a lot for Gujarat.
Vanzara has written three books in prison all dedicated to Asaram. In one of the poems he penned on July 7,2007,on the occasion of Guru Purnima,Vanzara wrote,I have cleaned up not only my prison cell today but also my soul. For,today people have gathered at Motera to seek his blessings. Everybody is singing my gurus praises. It is because of him that there is so much sunshine in my life,soul and even this cell.
After the Surat sisters registered a case against Asaram and his son Narayan Sai,a girl from Ahmedabad complained to Special Investigation Team chief J K Bhatt that she had information about Asarams illegal activities in Motera ashram and that Vanzara had been covering up for him.
A senior SIT officer said,We have discussed these with top police officials and the state Home department,who have decided that Asaram should be kept in Nadiad sub-jail. Nadiad would be safe for him as he faces a potential life threat. He has expressed a denial to stay in Sabarmati jail. Whenever his custody period is over with us,we will send him to Nadiad sub-jail.
A senior officer said,Asaram and Vanzara have been close since the time the latter was an SP,and both have been helping each other. While Vanzara is facing fake encounter charges,Asaram,who is facing rape charges,would not like to be associated with Vanzara and thereby,invite more trouble.
The police claimed that Ahmedabad serial blast accused and other criminals lodged in Sabarmati jail also pose a threat to Asaram.
The Nadiad sub-jail authorities have prepared a room for Asaram in the barrack. Asaram has requested for books,materials for performing religious rituals,clothes,home-made food and Ayurvedic medicines,citing old age and health-related problems. Nadiad jail authorities have allotted a spacious room to Asaram with all material he has demanded,a bed with mattress,fans and water dispenser. The sub-jail is preparing itself with additional staff to control the crowd of followers who are likely to visit him in prison.
Nadiad Jailor N A Desai said,I have been informed that Asaram would be shifted to Nadiad sub-jail,so we are preparing space for him. No special treatment would be given to him.
Meanwhile,a police team raided Asarams Bil village ashram near Bhaili in Vadodara on Sunday. A team of police officers from Jehangirpura in Surat conducted the raid to gather details in a rape case filed by a Surat-based woman. Though the police were tightlipped about the visit,sources said that the police recorded statements of two sevaks in writing in connection with the rape case filed against Sai,who is absconding. Surat police had earlier raided Asarams Jaipur and Ratlam ashrams.