The district and sessions court of Rajkot on Wednesday adjourned hearing on the anticipatory bail application of five Asaram sadhaks for a day after Assistant Public Prosecutor (APP) made a plea to that effect, stating that the main prosecutor of the case was not available to argue the matter. The five moved court apprehending their arrest in connection with the alleged murder of Amrut Prajapati.
The court of additional district judge Bharat Upadhyay adjourned the matter till Thursday while granting the plea of APP Smir Khira. The APP submitted that prosecutor Dilip Mehta, who had been representing the complainant, was not available for the date and, therefore, he had to appear on behalf of the victim. “Since advocate Mehta has been handling the case, he knows its details. We submitted that Mehta would be in a better position to argue the matter and, therefore, sought adjournment for a day. The court has granted our plea,” Khira said.
Meghji Patel, Vikas Khemka, Ramchandra Thakkar, Ajay Shah and Kanti Patel — all Asaram sadhaks working in Motera, Vadodara and Surat ashrams of the godman — had moved the Rajkot court last week, seeking protection against their possible arrest in the Prajapati shooting case. Their advocate had argued the matter on Tuesday.
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Prajapati was allegedly shot at in Rajkot on May 23 by an unidentified man. The Ayurveda practitioner had succumbed to bullet wounds on June 10 while undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Ahmedabad. In his dying declaration, Prajapati had named the five as well as one Kaushik Popat, another sadhak of Asaram, as those responsible for the attack on him.
Once a close aide of Asaram, Prajapati had fallen out with him after the mysterious death of two children studying in the godman’s Motera ashram near Ahmedabad in 2008. He was a key witness in the sexual assault cases filed against Asaram and his son Narayan Sai by two women from Surat last year.
The Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) of Rajkot city police has summoned the six twice to record their statements. However, the sadhaks missed the latest date on June 13. The DCB, which is investigating the case, has raided Asaram’s ashrams in Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Surat, but the six have eluded the police so far.