News East West
NEW DELHI: Indian godman Asaram Bapu, who was arrested on Sunday for allegedly molesting a 16-year-old girl in his ashram (a term used to describe places of saints) a fortnight ago, was on Monday sent to Jodhpur Central Jail in Rajasthan for 14 days.
After one-day police remand, the 72-year-old godman was produced in court amid very tight security. Police, who had questioned him for over four hours during his one-day police custody, told the court that they don’t want extension of his custody as they had finished their interrogation.
The judge ordered Asaram Bapu to be sent to judicial custody for 14 days, and he was locked up in Barack No 1 of the Central Jail.
Senior police official Ajay Lamba said the godman has cooperated with cops during his interrogation. “Our case is very strong and we have vital evidences against the accused. We will file chargesheet in the case soon.’’
Earlier, a potency test on the godman proved that he is sexually active and thus capable of sexual assault.
The potency test was conducted by a team of doctors after the godman insisted that he was incapable of a sexual assault as he was impotent.
“A potency test was conducted on him, which confirmed that he was strong enough to commit the crime of sexual assault and rape on the 16-year-old girl,” Jodhpur police commissioner Biju George Joseph said earlier.
The potency test will fortify the case against Asaram Bapu for allegedly molesting the 16-year-old girl who is the daughter of one of his followers.
Asaram Bapu was arrested from his Indore ashram in Madhya Pradesh on Sunday and brought to Jodhpur where he committed the alleged crime on August 15.
The 72-year-old godman allegedly molested the girl, who is a student at the gurukul (school) run by him at Chhindwada in Madhya Pradesh, in his Manai ashram near Jodhpur.
The girl had fallen ill and the godman allegedly advised her parents to bring her to him to Jodhpur. When the girl was brought to Jodhpur on August 12, the godman reportedly told her parents that he would perform a special ritual for her health in an isolated place.
The godman allegedly asked the girl to perform oral sex which she declined. Two days later, she broke down and narrated her ordeal to her parents who filed the FIR against the godman.
Known for controversies, the godman outraged middle-class Indians when he suggested after the Delhi gangrape case in which a 23-year-old student was sexually assaulted and brutally injured by six maniacs on a moving bus in December, that the girl could have escaped by calling the six men her brothers and seeking forgiveness.