Bareilly: An audio clip in which self-styled godman and rape accused Asaram is purportedly heard offering bribe to a witness, who was killed later, has been handed over to police by the victim's father.
The victim's father said the alleged conversation was recorded eight months ago and he had got the tape from Kripal Singh, the slain key witness in the Jodhpur rape case, Superintendent of Police Shahjahanpur, Babloo Kumar said on Tuesday.
Singh, who was attacked in Shahjahanpur on July 10, died in a Bareilly hospital the next day. He was the ninth witness attacked and the third one to have died.
"The authenticity of the audio clip is being verified and if proved genuine, it will be used in investigations," the SP said, adding that voice of 74-year-old Asaram will be matched with his voice recorded earlier.
According to the girl's father, Asaram, in the purported clip, is 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.
Asaram had allegedly sexually assaulted the 16-year-old victim at his ashram near Jodhpur in Rajasthan in 2013.
The girl's father said Kripal had handed over the clip to him so that it could be used to prove that Asaram had access to a cell phone even inside jail.
Asked as to why he did not provide the clip to the police or the court earlier, the girl's father said, "I did not know it could be used as evidence in the rape case. When the Bareilly Range DIG RKS Rathore 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," he said.
The girl has demanded a CBI probe into the rape case against Asaram."I want the Prime Minister to ensure justice to me by ordering a CBI probe into the 2013 (rape) incident," the victim had said after Kripal was killed.
Kripal had recorded his statement in the rape case in the Jodhpur court two moths ago. After his murder, Kripal's family members had accused Asaram's men of killing him and demanded a thorough investigation.
Meanwhile, another important witness in the rape case Arvind Bajpai, who is principal of Saraswati Shishu Inter College, Shahjahanpur, has been provided with a gunner.
Bajpai had issued Transfer Certificate (TC) of the girl, who had alleged that she was raped by Asaram, on the basis of which she was considered minor, Rathore said, adding that the principal had appeared in court in December 2014 in the case.
Bajpai had received threats over phone before he appeared in the court in the case to give evidence.
Asaram has been in a jail in Jodhpur since September 2013. Two months later, he, along with his son Narayan Sai, was booked for the alleged rape of two sisters at their ashram in Gujarat's Surat.
In January this year, Asaram's cook was shot dead in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh.