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HindustanTimes Mon,21 Apr 2014

Gujarat Police seeks custody of Asaram

HT Correspondent and PTI, Agencies  Ahmedabad, October 10, 2013
First Published: 20:20 IST(10/10/2013) | Last Updated: 20:23 IST(10/10/2013)

A Gujarat Police team on Thursday moved a Jodhpur court seeking custody of jailed self-styled godman Asaram for questioning him in connection with a sexual assault case lodged by two sisters from Surat against him and his son.

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Meanwhile, his son Narayan Sai issued advertisements in Surat dailies saying he will not flee abroad and will cooperate with the police in the case. He went on to dismiss the allegations as “baseless and motivated” in the advertisement, issued by his lawyer Gautam Desai.

On Sunday, two sisters had lodged an FIR stating they were raped repeatedly by Asaram and Narayan Sai between 2002 to 2004 at their Surat and Ahmedabad ashrams.
Asaram is already lodged at the Jodhpur Central Prison since September 1 for allegedly sexually assaulting a minor at his Manai ashram. "We are trying to bring Asaram to Ahmedabad regarding the case registered against him here," joint commissioner of police JK Bhatt said.

The Surat Police have summoned Narayan Sai in the case. "We have issued summons to him for questioning in the case," a police official from Surat said. The notice was served at Sai’s ashram as his whereabouts are not known to the police.

The police had on Monday issued a lookout notice against Sai, his mother and sister, who are also named in the FIR for allegedly aiding the crime.

A team of the police also searched Shanti Kutir, a farmhouse of Asaram where he is alleged to have raped one of the women between 2002 and 2004. The victim also accompanied the team. "We have launched an investigation in the case," a senior police official said.

The Gujarat health department also raided the pharmacy at the ashram where a range of Ayurvedic products are manufactured.

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