Armed with a warrant,a Gujarat police team on Thursday moved a Jodhpur court seeking custody of jailed self-styled godman Asaram Bapu for questioning him in connection with a sexual assault case lodged by two sisters from Surat against him and his son. The District and Sessions Court adjourned the matter till tomorrow after the police team from Ahmedabad,which reached here on Thursday,appeared before it with the production warrant issued against 72-year-old Asaram by a Gandhinagar court.
All the accused in the case are to appear before the court following expiry of their judicial remand. Also,the court on Thursday rejected the the bail applications of Asarams aides Sanchita Gupta alias Shilpi and Shiva.
Asaram was arrested in August on charges of sexually assaulting a minor girl and has been lodged in the Jodhpur Central Jail since last 40. His bail applications have been rejected by both the District and Sessions Court and the High Court. We have obtained the production warrant against Asaram from Gandhinagar court and have come here to seek permission of court for custody of Asaram to take him to Gujarat with us for interrogation in relation to the case registered in Surat by two girls, said a member of the Gujarat Police team.
DCP (West) Ajay Pal Lamba said that the Jodhpur Police has completed all its investigation related to Asaram and will extend all cooperation to Gujarat Police.
Surat Police had registered the two complaints one against Asaram and another against son Narayan Sai of rape,sexual assault,illegal confinement and other charges. The complaint against Asaram was transferred to Chandkheda police station in Ahmedabad as the incident took place in Asarams ashram here.
In Ahmedabad,Joint Commissioner of Police (Sector-I) J K Bhatt said that they have sought the help of Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) in investigating the case.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT),formed by Ahmedabad Police Commissioner Shivanand Jha,has brought the victim at Asarams ashram in Motera in the city,police sources said.
The sources said the victim was taken inside the ashram by the SIT to help police gather vital clues related to the case. The Jodhpur police indicated that investigation by Gujarat Police can help them in their case.
We also had been helped in our investigation by the Gujrat police and now it is our turn now. We will provide any help required by them in their investigation, DCP Lamba said. We already have completed our investigation as far as Asaram was concerned, he said adding that they do not have any problem with Gujarat police getting his custody as it may help us in making our case more strong.
In the Gujarat case,the younger of the two sisters had filed a complaint against Asarams son Narayan Sai,accusing him of repeated sexual assault between 2002 and 2005 when she was living in their Surat ashram.
The elder of the two sisters,in her complaint,had accused Asaram of repeated sexual assault between 1997 and 2006 during the time she had been living in his ashram on the outskirts of Ahmedabad city.