The special investigation team (SIT) of the Ahmedabad police went to Surat on Tuesday to meet the woman, who had lodged a complaint of sexual exploitation and torture against Asaram Bapu.
After forming a seven-member SIT on Monday, JK Bhatt, joint commissioner of police (JCP), Sector 1, sent some of its members, including two women officers, to Surat on Tuesday.
“Our future course of action will be based on what the victim has to say about her complaint against Asaram. Apart from recording her statement, our purpose is to provide security to the victim,” he said. On Sunday, two sisters from Surat had lodged a complaint of sexual exploitation and torture with the police against Asaram and his son Narayan Sai between 2001 and 2007.
Both used to work as sevikas in the ashram when the father-son duo allegedly exploited and tortured them physically. The younger sister, now aged 30 years, alleged that she was exploited by Sai at the Surat ashram, while the elder sister, now 37, alleged that she was exploited by Asaram at the Motera Ashram in Ahmedabad.
According to the complaint, Asaram had repeatedly raped the elder sister from 2001-2007 at his Motera ashram after he spotted her and asked her to come with him in 2001. The latter’s assault continued till 2007, when she turned 24. Unable to bear it any longer, she fled the ashram in 2007 and returned to Surat.
According to Bhatt, the 37-year-old woman would also be brought to Ahmedabad to identify the scene of crime and gather more clues. “We are also in the process of finding out and recording the statements of those people and sadhaks who used to work in the ashram when the girl was allegedly assaulted,” he assured.
Asaram likely to be brought to city tomorrow
The self-styled godman is all set to be brought to Ahmedabad on Thursday as court orders have been issued to that effect. So, a police team from Ahmedabad is expected to leave for Jodhpur on Wednesday. “The Gandhinagar court has issued a transfer warrant allowing the Chandkheda police to take Asaram into custody,” said Ashwin Parmar, public prosecutor. He added that now the Jodhpur court in Rajasthan would issue orders to hand Asaram over to the Gujarat Police, irrespective of whether his trial there was over or not.
According to ML Ninama, deputy commissioner of police (DCP), zone-2 of city police, the cops were taking legal advice on how and when to bring Asaram to Ahmedabad. “We are in touch with the public prosecutor of Gandhinagar court about the next step of bringing Asaram to city and initiated the process of informing the Jodhpur court about Asaram being needed here for our investigation. Since Asaram is in the custody of the Jodhpur court till October 11, we will take a final call only after our team returns from Surat,” said the DCP.