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Key witness in Asaram rape case dies

Fomer aide of godman was shot at on May 23

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad/rajkot | Published: June 11, 2014 2:21:48 am
Amrut Prajapati Amrut Prajapati

The main witness in the Asaram sexual assault case lodged by Surat sisters, Amrut Prajapati, died Tuesday after succumbing to injuries he suffered when he was shot at in Rajkot on May 23. Prajapati was brought to Ahmedabad civil hospital for treatment and was shifted to Apollo hospital last week.

Prajapati, a resident of Odhav in Ahmedabad, practiced Ayurveda. He was shot at his Rajkot clinic. He was an important aide of Asaram and part of the latter’s team as an expert on Ayurveda, who parted ways after working with the godman for nearly 15 years.

Prajapati was known for raising his voice against Asaram for the last many years. He  reportedly spilled the beans on Asaram and Sai’s activities in Ahmedabad and Surat ashrams with women devotees. Prajapati’s family members cried foul and demanded action against police inaction in the case.

According to the case details, an unidentified person had visited Prajapati at his clinic in Rajkot under the pretext of taking treatment. He was reportedly the last visitor, who had entered his chamber when the entire clinic’s staff had left. He shot Prajapati in his throat and then fled on a motorbike with his aide.
In the hospital Prajapati wrote names of six persons whom he suspected to be behind the attack.

However, the Rajkot crime branch got no leads in the case for over 15 days. Prajapati’s wife, Saroj, pleaded to Rajkot and Ahmedabad police, demanding the arrest of the six men, allegedly the Asaram’s henchmen.

DCB PSI Subhash Ninama, who is the investigating officer in the case, said, “We are in the process of recording statements of six persons whom Dr Prajapati has named in his dying declaration. We suspect the people, who were allegedly behind two unsuccessful attempts on Dr Parajapati’s life in Surat and who have been on the run, are behind the attack on Prajapati.”

The IO said the seizure of a bike from outside Om Shanti Arogyadham, the clinic where the alleged incident took place, had provided no leads so far. Suresh Pandya, police inspector in Rajkot, under whose jurisdiction the alleged firing incident took place, said, “Dr Prajapati used to come to Arogyadham twice a month. He was on his one such visit when he was attacked.”

Prajapati was shifted to Ahmedabad Civil Hospital from Rajkot after his condition was reported serious. Last week, the doctors had recommended his family to shift him to Apollo Hospital, where he was put on a ventilator. He was declared dead in the morning. After his death, his body was taken to Ahmedabad civil hospital for post-mortem.

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