Asaram sent to Jodhpur jail on 14-day remand

Self-styled godman Asaram Bapu was lodged in Jodhpur Central Jail on Monday after a local court remanded him to judicial custody for 14 days. Asaram, 72, wearing a white dhoti-kurta and a red skull cap, was produced in the Jodhpur district and sessions court, where magistrate Manoj Kumar sent him to judicial custody till September 15.
Asaram’s lawyers plan to move a bail application before the court on Tuesday. The police said Monday that the charges filed against him were found correct. The controversial “godman” is accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl at his Jodhpur ashram.
The police resorted to a mild lathicharge when some of Asaram’s supporters assembled outside the central jail.
“Interrogation has been completed and we have gathered sufficient evidence against him to prove involvement in the crime,” said Jodhpur DCP Ajay Lamba. “Since our investigation was completed, we did not press for further (police) custody,” he added.
“As of now, there is no plan to bring the victim here to identify Asaram because the victim knew him for years,” said Mr Lamba.
Asaram’s lawyers claimed that he was suffering from ill-health, and the court directed the police and jail authorities to ensure that he was given proper medical care. Mr Lamba said a team of doctors had examined him and found him in good health. Jail officials said they would follow the law and the court’s directions in this regard.
His lawyers claimed in the bail application that he had been “framed” in a false case. A team of police officials questioned Asar-am for hours on Monday while one of his aides, Shiva, was also questioned. The police team also put the two of them together for questioning. Shiva was arrested after he surrendered to the police. “We can say the police has enough evidence, supported by statements, circumstantial and corroborative evidence,” Mr Lamba added.
Jodhpur Central Jail is considered one of the safest in the country. It is the same prison where Bollywood star Salman Khan was lodged twice in a poaching case.

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