A witness in the rape case lodged against Asaram was seriously injured after being stabbed on Friday by a supporter of the spiritual guru on a Jodhpur court premises, police said. Two key witnesses in another case registered against the 72-year-old religious leader have already been killed.
"The incident occurred when this witness, Rahul K Sachan after giving his statement in front of local court was coming out. A supporter of Asaram, Satyanarain who was armed with a knife stabbed him twice from behind on the left side of his back. He suffered injuries and has been admitted in government hospital here," deputy commissioner of police (law and order), east, Kailash Sandhu said.
Sachan's condition was stated to be stable.
Sachan claimed that the assailant was a sevadar (helper) of Asaram. "We have arrested the attacker and are interrogating him," said Sandhu.
Asaram was arrested in September 2013 for alleged sexual assault on a minor and since then, he been lodged in the central jail in Jaipur, 340 km from Jaipur.
The attack came exactly a month after a key witness in a case, in which two sisters from Surat had accused Asaram and his son Narayan Sai of rape, was shot dead in Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar district.
Sachan was in the court premises with police security when he was attacked, according to prosecution counsel PC Solanki. SHO of Udaimandir police station, Harji Ram, said Sachan was attacked while he was boarding the police vehicle after coming out of the court.
"The moment he attempted to step into the police jeep, Satya Narayan rushed with a knife in hand and stabbed him in ribs," Harji Ram said.
Sachan was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital and the assailant, who also got injured in the melee, was arrested by the police.
Satya Narayan claimed that he was a devotee of Asaram. "Sachan had turned a prosecution witness and was apprising the court about the modus operandi of Asaram," said Solanki.
On January 11, key prosecution witness Akhil Gupta, who was cook and personal aide of Asaram, was shot dead by unknown persons on his way home in Muzaffarnagar. Before Gupta, Amrut Prajapati, a former Asaram aide was shot dead in June last year in Gujarat.
Gupta had given statement before a Gandhinagar court under section 164 of CrPC along with some incriminating proof against Asaram.