Self-styled godman, Asaram Bapu, who had surfaced at his Indore ashram after fleeing Bhopal on Friday, was arrested on Saturday midnight.
Jodhpur police escorted the godman out of his ‘fortress’ around midnight. Earlier, an ambulance was sent in to test his medical condition, sources said.
Earlier, he had made another attempt at evading arrest by choosing to deliver a discourse even as a team of Jodhpur police – which arrived to take him into custody was made to wait by his disciples at the heavily-guarded facility on Khandwa Road on Saturday.
Over 3,000 disciples had gathered at the ashram, which was cordoned off for the media. A 14-member team of Jodhpur police reached the ashram in the evening and were escorted by the disciples to a corner of ashram. Around 300 policemen in riot gear were deployed on the premises and outside the Ashram. His disciples threatened to prevent any police action using all means possible though Asaram said he was willing to go to jail if required.
The 72-year old godman was accused in a case of sexual assault by a minor girl and was summoned by Rajasthan police for questioning, but he failed to appear before them by the deadline that expired Saturday. He had left Bhopal by road on a vehicle and reached here on Friday evening.
The team comprising a doctor and police personnel, has been on his trail for questioning after he failed to show up on August 30, the deadline served on him to appear before Jodhpur police.
The police are now set to grill him at his Indore Ashram. “We will question him at his Indore ashram. If he does not cooperate with the police, we will arrest him,” said Ajay Pal Lamba, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Jodhpur, West.
Commenting on Asaram’s health Lamba said that as of today (Saturday) Asaram was fit for questioning. “Yesterday a medical report said he was suffering from a neurological problem and therefore was unfit, but today the report says he is fine and can be questioned,” Lamba added while addressing the newsmen in Jodhpur.
The cop also added that security, both, in and around Jodhpur has been stepped up as a preventive measure. “We have stepped up security in the city to avert any untoward incident in case if Asaram is arrested.”