Sexual assault case: Asaram Bapu undergoes potency test, son still missing

AHMEDABAD (TIP): Asaram, 72, was brought to Ahmedabad on a transit remand from a court in Jodhpur where he was lodged in a jail since August in another sexual assault case involving minor daughter of one of his devotees. Controversial godman Asaram Bapu was on October 16 subjected to a potency test in connection with a sexual assault case lodged against him and his son Narayan Sai by two Surat-based sisters. “Asaram was taken to civil hospital for potency test in connection with the sexual assault case lodged against him,” a senior police official said. A magisterial court in Gandhinagar had remanded him in four-day police custody. Surat police recently registered two complaints – one against Asaram and another against his son Narayan Sai – of rape, sexual assault, illegal confinement and other charges as alleged by the two sisters. The elder of the sisters, in her complaint, had accused Asaram of repeated sexual assault between 1997 and 2006 when she had been living in his ashram on the outskirts of Ahmedabad city. The case against Asaram was transferred to Chandkheda police station as the incident took place in Ahmedabad. The younger of the two sisters had filed a complaint against Narayan Sai, whose whereabouts are still not known, accusing him of repeated sexual assault between 2002 and 2005 when she was living in their Surat ashram. Narayan Sai and Asaram had also filed petitions in the Gujarat High Court, seeking quashing of the complaints on the grounds of delay in filing them and that they are based on flimsy grounds.

Asaram’s ashrams raided
A team of the Gujarat Police assisted by the Delhi Police raided controversial selfstyled godman Asaram Bapu’s ashrams in the Capital on Thursday. They were in search of his son Narayan Sai, who is facing charges of sexual assault in a case registered in Surat. Sources in the Delhi Police said that while intercepting Sai’s cell phone locations, the investigating sleuths traced the phone number of one of his followers somewhere in Delhi and suspecting that the phone could have been used by Sai, a team from Gujarat was dispatched. Here, the team was joined by the Delhi Police’s Crime Branch and it raided Sai’s possible hideouts in Najafgarh, Rohini, Jaffarpur Kalan and Ridge Road. However, Sai could not be found and the phone, too, was found switched off later in the day. It is also learnt that there are strong possibilities that he may have slipped into Haryana from South-West Delhi.

Asaram’s wife, daughter get anticipatory bail
The Gandhinagar Sessions Court on October 17 granted anticipatory bail to wife and daughter of self-styled godman Asaram Bapu, Laxmi and Bharti respectively, in connection with the alleged rape of a Surendranagar woman in 2001 at Asaram’s farm near Motera in Ahmedabad. The court granted bail to the two while enforcing several conditions, including that they cannot leave Gujarat without the court’s permission. The court has also directed the two to remain present before the police on October 19 between 10 am and 2 pm. Apart from Asaram, seven others have been named as accused in the FIR registered with Chandkheda police station of Ahmedabad. Asaram has been arrested in the case and is currently on police custody remand of Ahmedabad police. Laxmi and Bharti have been accused of abetting the rape. Earlier this week, Laxmi, Bharti and one another woman accused, Dhruvben, had moved anticipatory bail petitions before the Gandhinagar District and Sessions Court, while claiming innocence in the case.

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