Arrested religious preacher Asaram Bapu, accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl, arrived in Jodhpur on Sunday.
Rape accused Asaram was arrested last night by the Jodhpur police from his Indore ashram in Madhya Pradesh for allegedly sexually assaulting a 16-year-old schoolgirl.
Police Commissioner Biju George Jospeh said that Asaram has been moved out of Indore city, where he was arrested, but declined to disclose where he would be put up for the night.
"We are planning to bring him in Jodhpur tomorrow morning but are yet to decide whether he will be brought by train, road or by air", he said.
* According to our reporter Rajendra Aklekar, supporters of Asaram are protesting in Mumbai by stopping the railways. They are staging a rail-roko at Ulhasnagar station.
* Asaram Bapu's flight has landed in Jodhpur. Police sources also said that they will be taking him to an undisclosed location for questioning.
* Security has been tightened in Jodhpur ahead of the arrival of arrested God man Asaram Bapu for questioning in connection with a sexual assault case. Asram Bapu supporters from outside Jodhpur will also be barred from entering the city.
* "If he was innocent, he should have surrendered on the first day itself," says Congress leader Digvijay Singh.
The most vocal voice of BJP against atrocities against women has been Sushma Swaraj. Why is she quiet in Asharam Bapu's case ?— digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) August 31, 2013
There is no one big or small. And law will take its own course. @digvijaya_28— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwarajbjp) September 1, 2013
* The flight will leave for Jodhpur from Delhi will leave in sometime. Asaram should reach Jodhpur by noon.
* The father of the 16-year-old girl who has alleged sexual assault has said that he has been receiving death threats from supporters of Asaram Bapu but has vowed to pursue his fight for justice
* Supporters greet Asaram Bapu at the Delhi airport. They were shouting slogans in favour of the self-styled god man.
* Asaram Bapu reached Delhi in the morning after being arrested from his Indore ashram in the wee hours of the night.
* His ashram was sealed yesterday after some of his followers attacked the media for reporting that his arrest was imminent.
* Jodhpur police granted one-day custody of Asaram
A court in Jodhpur has on Sunday granted one day custody to the Jodhpur Police of Asaram Bapu.
Police Commissioner Biju George Joseph earlier said that Asaram Bapu has been produced before a court and added that they have asked for his police custody.
“We have produced him before court now and asked for his police custody. We still have some issues to be completed therefore we have asked for his police custody. We have to take his version on evidence that we have gathered,” he told the media here today.
“Asaram Bapu is cooperating in the investigation process. Doctors have examined him and they say there is no evidence of him being unwell. We have asked doctors to conduct potency test,” he added.
The 75-year-old, who spent the night with police escorts at the airport lounge in Indore, was flown to Jodhpur.
Ahead of his arrival, a strong posse of security personnel was deployed at the airport to prevent his large legion of supporters from staging big shows of support.
His arrest came two days after he missed a deadline issued by the Jodhpur police to appear before it for questioning. His son Narayan Sai had claimed yesterday that the 75-year-old was unwell and could not be interrogated.
Asaram Bapu has been booked under Sections 376, 342, 506 and 509 of the IPC, Section 8 of the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) and Sections 23 and 26 of the Juvenile Justice Act.
Besides the summons served on Asaram Bapu, notices have also been issued to the manager of the Chhindwara gurukul in Madhya Pradesh, the hostel warden and the main caretaker of Asaram, who was present at Manai Ashram in Jodhpur on August 15, when the alleged sexual assault took place.
The 16-year-old girl, who has accused Asaram Bapu of sexually assaulting her at his ashram in Jodhpur, hails from Uttar Pradesh.
* Asaram Bapu was interrogated after being sent to a day's police custody and taken to his ashram for recreating the "crime scene"
During the interrogation at the Police Lines, near Mandore in Jodhpur, the white-clad, bearded 72-year-old Asaram asserted he was innocent.
"We had sought two days police custody, but the court has given us a day's custody. We, after interrogating him, will again present him before the district and sessions judge here tomorrow (Monday) and, if need be, seek more custody," said a police official in Jodhpur.
The guru was also taken to his ashram, 35 km from Jodhpur, for recreating the alleged crime scene at around 6 pm. The exercise lasted around 20 minutes, a source said.
Asaram Bapu claimed innocence before investigators and denied the allegation of sexual assault levelled against him, Jodhpur Police Commissioner Biju George Joseph told reporters.
*Earlier in the day, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot Sunday said the law would take its own course in the case.
Talking to media persons in Jodhpur, Gehlot said that no actor, politician or any other person was above law.
"Let the law take its own course," he said.
The chief minister said police have made elaborate arrangement for maintaining law and order in Jodhpur.
*The police on Saturday arrested 13 followers of Asaram in Jodhpur for assaulting media persons covering developments in the sexual assault case.
Asaram has blamed Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son and party vice president Rahul Gandhi for his legal tangles. The Congress has rubbished the allegation.
* Asaram quizzed for 4 hours, clears potency test
Asaram Bapu was today remanded to police custody for a day after being grilled by the Jodhpur police for about four hours.
72-year-old Asaram also cleared a potency test conducted on him at the SN Medical college.
Asaram was later produced before District and Sessions Judge (Rural) Manoj K Vyas who remanded him to one-day police custody.
He has been kept under police custody at the RAC Battalion campus after his plea for being allowed to stay at his ashram was rejected.
Asaram has denied sexual assault charges lodged against him by the schoolgirl, the police commissioner said.
He refuted reports that Asaram was on a hunger fast and refusing to eat or drink anything. "He is taking food and water," Joseph said.
(With agency inputs)