Sexual assault case: Asaram`s aide appears before police, taken into custody

Last Updated: Saturday, August 31, 2013 - 22:56

Jodhpur: One of three aides of Asaram Bapu, summoned for interrogation in the case of alleged sexual assault of a teenage girl in which the self-styled godman is also an accused, on Saturday appeared before Jodhpur Police and was taken into custody for questioning.

"Shiva, one of the three aids and accused in the case who was present in the Manai Ashram with Asaram on the night of incident, and had threatened the girl not to disclose the matter to anyone, appeared before us today. We took him into custody and started interrogation," said DCP Ajay Pal Lamba.

Shiva, who had sought exemption from appearance on the stipulated date of August 29 citing health reasons, pleaded innocence before the mediapersons.

"I am innocent and have nothing to do with the incident, I was not present in the ashram on the day of the alleged incident," he claimed.

Shiva admitted that he was with Asaram in Jodhpur till August 13, but said he had left the town after that.

Referring to the incident, he said the girl and her family had come to the ashram on their own to meet Asaram for her treatment, and there was no question of threatening her, as she had alleged in her statement to police.

About the remaining two accused Shilpi (warden of the Chhindwara Gurukul) and Sharad Chadra alias Keshav, the DCP said "after getting Asaram`s interrogation completed, we will again send teams to bring them to Jodhpur for interrogation."

According to police, Shilpi and Keshav had advised the girl and her parents to go to Asaram to "ward off evil souls", which they had termed the reason behind her illness.

Meanwhile, the Jodpur Police team arrived at Asaram`s Indore ashram this afternoon and based on the report of Indore medical college, it has decided to examine him tonight itself.

Lamba said the Jodhpur Police received a fax from Indore ashram yesterday in which it was stated that Asaram had a "neurological problem" after he underwent a medical examination by doctors of Bhopal Medical College.

However, the latest communication from Indore Police was that doctors of Indore Medical College have stated that Asaram is medically fit for travel and interrogation, he said.

"Today, we arranged to get him examined by the team of doctors from Indore Medical College, and found him fit for examination, which was our primary concern," said Lamba.

He said the Jodhpur Police team will start Asaram`s interrogation tonight itself and if not satisfied by his defence, it will arrest and bring him to Jodhpur.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, August 31, 2013 - 22:55

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