Indore, Aug. 31: The Jodhpur Police on Saturday evening reached self-styled godman Asaram Bapu’s ashram in Indore to question him in connection with the sexual assault case of a schoolgirl.
According to reports, a team of medical doctors have also been called at the ashram.
Asaram Bapu’s son Narayan Sai told the media here that the police personnel have been asked to quiz his father till 10 p.m.
Jodhpur Police DCP Ajay Pal Lamba earlier this evening said Asaram Bapu will be arrested if he did not cooperate with the police personnel.
“Jodhpur police team is in Indore. We will go to the Ashram to interrogate Asaram very soon. If Asaram does not cooperate with us we will arrest him,” Lamba told media in Jodhpur.
“He is fit for interrogation. We have not gone into the details of travelling because we have to interrogate him and he is fit for interrogation-that is what we have been communicated. So, we will start our interrogation within a few hours-by late evening, we will start the investigation,” he added.
Assuring that the Madhya Pradesh Police had done all their homework to ensure the smooth transit of Asaram Bapu if the need arises, Lamba said that a close vigil has been kept on the borders of Jodhpur to track any agitation from Asaram Bapu’s followers.
“We have kept a vigil on the borders of Jodhpur city to know whether any followers of Asaram Bapu is coming to Jodhpur or not. If anyone is coming, we are keeping a close watch and will take strict action. If any followers takes the law into their own hands, or tries to go above the law, we will take strict action,” he said.
“We will wait for the completion of the investigation. If the investigation finishes after one hour, we will take the decision in one hour. If the investigation takes a long period, we will take the decision after that period,” he added.
Lamba assured that his team in Jodhpur is fully prepared to tackle any situation that might occur from Bapu’s supporters and followers.
“If he is brought to Jodhpur, we have enough manpower for whatever is needed to take care of the law and order. On the part of the police, we have four armed police force companies and we have already planned to deploy them in the potential troubled spots,” Lamba said.
The police, earlier in the day, were clueless about the whereabouts of Asaram Bapu, who is believed to have fled his Bhopal ashram.
Asaram Bapu’s caretaker Shiva, who is accused of taking the girl to the self-styled godman’s Jodhpur ashram, surrendered before the police earlier today.
Asaram Bapu was summoned by Rajasthan Police for questioning in connection with a case of alleged sexual assault but he did not appear before them on Friday when the deadline expired.
Jodhpur Police sealed off the ashram of self-proclaimed godman on Saturday, following the assault on media personnel by the latter’s supporters.
13 supporters of Asaram Bapu were today detained for attacking media personnel outside his ashram in Jodhpur.
On Friday, Jodhpur Police refused to give Asaram Bapu more time to present himself in connection with a case of sexually assaulting a minor at his ashram.
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 there.
The 16-year-old girl, who has accused Asaram Bapu of sexually assaulting her at his ashram in Jodhpur, hails from Uttar Pradesh. (ANI)