Millennium Post

Gujarat police gets Asaram’s custody

Gujarat police were on Friday granted custody of self-styled godman Asaram Bapu by a Jodhpur court for questioning in sexual assault case lodged by two sisters against him and his son Narayan Sai who filed an anticipatory bail plea in a Surat court.

‘The court permitted the Gujarat police to take him (Asaram) with them for interrogation,’ said Manish Vyas, counsel for the victim whose rape complaint in Jodhpur led to Asaram’s arrest in August.

Extending the judicial custody of 72-year-old Asaram and other four co-accused for 14 days in the Jodhpur case, District and Session Judge Manoj Kumar Vyas directed the Jodhpur Central Jail to ensure they appear in court on 25 October.

Meanwhile, Sai, against whom Gujarat police have issued a look-out notice, has filed an anticipatory bail plea in connection with the complaint of sexual assault against him by the two Surat-based sisters.

‘We have moved a Surat court for anticipatory bail for Narayan Sai in connection with the sexual assault case lodged against him in Jehangirpura police station,’ his lawyer Kalpesh Desai said on Friday.

The application, which may be heard next week, questions the delay in filing of FIR and alleges that the complaint is bogus.

Surat police had recently registered two complaints against them of rape, sexual assault, illegal confinement and other charges on the complaint by the two sisters.

The elder of the sisters has accused Asaram of repeated sexual assaults between 1997 and 2006 when she was living in his ashram here.

The younger sister has accused Sai of repeated sexual assaults between 2002 and 2005 when she was living in Asaram’s Surat ashram.

Armed with a production warrant issued by a Gandhinagar court, Gujarat police had yesterday moved the Jodhpur court seeking permission to take Asaram with them for interrogation.

Asaram and his son have also filed a petition in the Gujarat High Court seeking quashing of the complaints of sexual assault filed against them by the sisters. The petition is likely to come up for hearing in a few days.

Asaram, who had been lodged in Jodhpur jail since his arrest in August, will be taken to Gujarat tomorrow.

All the accused in Jodhpur case were produced in the court this morning as their judicial custody expired on Friday.

Judge Manoj Kumar Vyas extended the judicial custody of Asaram and other co-accused including Shilpi, Shiva, Prakash and Sharad Chandra till 25 October, lawyers said.
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