A Chandkheda police team reached the Motera ashram of Asaram Bapu with the rape victim of Surat on Thursday afternoon to investigate her complaint against the controversial godman.
Two days back, a three-member team of the Ahmedabad police went to Surat to take the statement of the 36-year-old Meena (name changed) in the case. In her complaint to Jahangirpura police station, she alleged that Asaram had sexually assaulted her several times at the Motera ashram from 1997 to 2001. According to her, she was given accommodation in a women’s ashram near the main ashram at Motera.
Meena alleged that Asaram’s daughter Bharti used to take her to Asaram’s kutiya in his farmhouse, Shanti Vatika, on the Motera-Gandhinagar road. According to her, Asaram allegedly used to rape her there during that period.
To collect evidences and conduct panchnama of the scene of crime, the police brought Meena and her younger sister from Surat and visited these places on Thursday afternoon.
Around 1.30 pm, Chandkheda police inspector AG Gohil and his team went inside the main ashram. After some time, he came out after paying a short visit and headed towards the women’s ashram, located about 200 metres away.
Meanwhile, another team, comprising women police officers and the two sisters, entered the woman’s ashram in their Swift car. Sources said both the vehicles were followed by a Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) team equipped with video cameras.
Officials have revealed that the team did their panchnama at the women’s ashram and also video-graphed the process with the help of FSL. It is also learned that the police have taken the statements of some long-time residents of the ashram to learn about its functioning during 1997 to 2001.
Around 3 pm, the convoy of five to six police vehicles and the Swift left for Shanti Vatika and stayed there for almost three hours to collect evidence and statements. Later, the convoy returned to the women’s ashram and stayed there till 8 pm. Now, the police are expected to go to court with the panchnama and the statements on Friday.
Meanwhile, the special investigation team (SIT), formed by JK Bhatt, joint commissioner of police, Sector-1, announced that Asaram would be brought to the city soon. “As announced earlier, our team members reached Jodhpur today and started the process of taking Asaram into custody from the Jodhpur court based on the transfer warrant,” said Bhatt on Thursday.