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HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014

Police teams sent to Asaram's ashrams before he is quizzed

PTI  Jodhpur, August 23, 2013
First Published: 19:47 IST(23/8/2013) | Last Updated: 19:49 IST(23/8/2013)

Police teams fanned out to various ashrams of self-styled godman Asaram Bapu on Friday looking for evidence based on the statement of the girl, who has accused him of sexual exploitation, before he is quizzed.

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Police Commissioner Biju George Joseph said that Asaram can be approached for interrogation in next 2-3 days.

"We have sent different police teams for different ashrams of Bapu, where the parents and girl, together or alone, have visited as mentioned by them to the police", said DCP (West) Ajay Pal Lamba.

He said that a team has also sent to Chhindwara Gurukul, where the girl has been studying for the past few years in order to verify the statements of the girl and her parents.

However, police have not approached Asaram till now.

"Of course that will be the part of investigation, but before that, we want to verify certain facts," said Joseph.

He said that he can be approached for interrogation in next 2-3 days.

Lamba said, "We are in the process of collecting scientific evidence in order to verify the allegation of the girl and then we will proceed to interrogation of Bapu".

He said that so far it has been proved that the girl along with her family and Asaram were present in the ashram during the period mentioned in the girl's complaint but it is not yet certain that they met in isolation.

Meanwhile, the girl and her parents have left for their home in Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh, under police security.

"We have seen off the family on Thursday night. We have asked the police there to ensure adequate security measures for the family", Lamba said.

An FIR was lodged against Asaram for allegedly raping the 15-year old girl in his ashram. However, a spokesperson of his ashram claimed the Asaram was innocent and was being implicated.

The controversial spiritual guru had earlier been in the news when two children living in his ashram in Gujarat had gone missing and were suspected to have been killed.


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