HindustanTimes Sun,31 Aug 2014

Acid attack on witness in rape case against Asaram

PTI  Surat, March 16, 2014
First Published: 22:24 IST(16/3/2014) | Last Updated: 02:18 IST(17/3/2014)

Two unidentified men in Surat on Sunday threw acid at one of the witnesses in the rape case against self-styled godman Asaram, police said.

"A witness in the rape case against Asaram has suffered an acid attack by two men in Vesu area," deputy commissioner of police Shobha Bhutda told PTI.

"The victim has been identified as Dinesh Bhavchandani (39) who has given a statement against Asaram in the case," said the officer.

"The incident took place when Bhavchandani was riding to his house near Vesu Royal Residency. Two men on a bike overtook him and threw acid," she said.

He was taken to a private hospital.

Asked about police protection for the witnesses, the DCP said, "Most witnesses are given police protection, but these three victims had refused it."  

A Surat-based woman has accused Asaram of repeated rapes and illegal confinement between 1997 and 2006 when she was living at his ashram on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. Her younger sister has lodged a similar complaint against Asaram's son, Narayan Sai.

Asaram (72) is currently in a Jodhpur jail after being arrested in September 2013 for sexually assaulting a minor girl at his ashram in Jodhpur.

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