Girl's statement against Asaram correct: Police
Jodhpur: Police probing the allegations of sexual exploitation against Asaram Bapu have said that the statement of the girl who has brought the charges against the self-styled spiritual guru was corroborated by an examination of the evidence in the case.
According to police, the girl's statement matches prima facie with what they found following inspection on Thursday of the scene of the alleged crime at Asaram's ashram at Manai village. Police are now preparing to interrogate Asaram at his ashram in Ahmedabad.
"Soon, our team will leave to interrogate Asaram," said commissioner of police, Biju George Joseph. He, too, visited the Manai ashram on Thursday with other police officials. "We are in the process of verifying the facts mentioned by the girl in her statement.
"Prima facie, her statements and the scene of crime stand verified through physical inspection of the spot," he added. "The owner of the land on which the said ashram stands at Manai village has also confirmed the presence of the girl and her parents at the spot as mentioned by them in their statements," he said.
Interestingly, the admission of Ranjeet Dewra, the owner of the land who is also a follower of Asaram's, that the accused was present there from August 12 to 16 contradicts the statement made by a spokesperson for the godman's main ashram in Ahmedabad claiming he was not present in Manai on August 15.
The spokesperson had said that Asaram had left Jodhpur after two days of meetings there on August 10 and 11. However, Dewra said Asaram was there till August 16 and that the girl was also present during the same time with her parents at the ashram.
Meanwhile, supporters of Asaram have termed the entire episode a conspiracy against him in view of his rising popularity. A group of devotees from the Jodhpur ashram today staged a demonstration and submitted a memorandum addressed to the chief minister to the police, the divisional commissioner and the district collector demanding a fair probe in the matter.
"It is a malicious attempt to defame Bapu and shake the faith of his devotees," said Chanchal Raj Sharma, the spokesperson for the Jodhpur ashram. He, too, maintained that the accused had not met anybody at Manai ashram.
"Bapu was in solitude here from August 12 to 16 and did not meet anybody," Sharma said. Meanwhile, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot has said that he was personally monitoring the probe and had received a feedback in the case from the police commissioner.
Delhi Police had filed a case against Asaram on the complaint of a 16-year-old girl that he had sexually assaulted her at the Jodhpur ashram. "After sexual assault was confirmed in the medical examination of the girl, a case under relevant sections of IPC was registered at Kamla Market police station. As the incident took place in Rajasthan, we have moved the case to Jodhpur," a Delhi police official had said on Wednesday.”