The Shahjahanpur police have received a 15-minute audio clip purportedly containing a conversation between Asaram Bapu and a witness in the Jodhpur rape case, Kripal Singh, in which the self-styled godman can be heard offering money to him. The clip was handed over to the police by the rape victim’s father, who claims he got it from Kripal.
Kripal was attacked in Shahjahanpur on July 10 and died in a Bareilly hospital the next day.
Superintendent of Police, Shahjahanpur, Babloo Kumar confirmed that the rape victim’s father had provided the audio clip. It has been handed over to the investigating officer to verify its authenticity, Kumar said, adding that it may be made part of the investigation if it is found to be genuine.
He said that police will match the clip with samples of Asaram’s voice from his earlier speeches, if required.
The alleged conversation took place about eight months ago, the girl’s father has claimed. Kripal had recorded his statement in a Jodhpur court two months ago.
According to the girl’s father, Asaram, in the purported clip, can be heard telling the witness that he would get “50 per cent in advance and the rest after the job is done”.
The conversation was allegedly facilitated by two of Asaram’s followers — Raghav and Sanjay — who are also key suspects in Kripal’s murder. Asaram allegedly spoke to Kripal and his followers from jail.
The clip was handed over to the police by the girl’s father on Sunday night. He told The Indian Express that Kripal had recorded it on his mobile phone.
“Asaram’s two followers visited Kripal’s house and said Asaram wanted to talk to him. Sanjay called a number from his cell phone and put it on speaker. Kripal already had his cell phone recorder on, and the conversation was recorded,” he claimed.
The girl’s father said Kripal handed over the clip to him so it could be used to prove that Asaram has access to a cell phone in jail.
Asked why he did not provide the clip to the police or the court earlier, he said, “I did not know it could be used as evidence in the rape case. When the Bareilly Range DIG visited my house after Kripal’s murder, I told him about this audio clip. The DIG asked me to immediately hand it over to the police as it could be an important evidence in the murder case.”
“In the recording, Asaram is heard giving directions to Kripal and also convincing him that his future prospects are good. Asaram is also heard saying, ‘50 taka kaam hone se pehle denge aur baaki kaam hone ki baad’,” alleged the girl’s father.
“The voice quality is bad but Kripal is clearly heard telling Asaram that the task is difficult but he would try to accomplish it,” he said.