The 16-year-old girl from Uttar Pradesh who accused the self-styled godman Asaram of sexually assaulting her in 2013 asked on Sunday for a CBI probe into the murder of all three witnesses, following a spate of attacks against people linked to the case.
Her demand came hours after the main witness, 35-year-old Kripal Singh, was shot dead by two motorcycle-borne assailants, bringing back memories of the multi-crore Vyapam scam where the CBI took over the probe following the suspicious deaths of around 40 witnesses and accused.
“My only request to Prime Minister Narendra Modi is that he should ensure justice to me in my case. Justice must be ensured to me in the case registered in connection with whatever happened with me in 2013.”
Police said Singh was the main witness and an employee of a transport firm owned by the father of the 16-year-old girl from Shahjahanpur in western UP, who lodged a case against the 76-year-old Asaram for allegedly sexually assaulting her at his ashram near Jodhpur in 2013.
At the insistence of the girl’s father, Delhi Police registered a case against Asaram in August 2013 and later transferred it to Jodhpur.
Days before his death, Singh told the additional city magistrate that people connected to Asaram were threatening him. Singh was a disciple and a confidante of Asaram but had testified against him in the past.
“A CBI probe monitored by the Supreme Court should be carried out in the matter to bring forth the reality,” the girl’s father said, demanding security enhancement for his family.
Singh’s death came roughly six months after Akhil Gupta, who used to cook for Asaram and testified against him, was shot dead in Muzaffarnagar. In May 2014, Amrut Prajapati, another aide of the 76-year-old was killed by motorcycle-borne assailants in an identical manner in 2014.
Both families blamed Asaram and his son for the murders, with Gupta’s father even writing to the PM, home minister and chief ministers of Gujarat and Rajasthan, requesting a probe into the killings of witnesses.
Moreover, another six witnesses have miraculously survived attempts on their lives, including an attack and a stabbing.
“There is evidently a pattern in all attacks on witnesses. In all seven instances, motorcycle-borne unidentified persons have either shot at or knifed the witnesses and all instances seem coordinated,” said a Gujarat police official.
The popular godman has been behind bars since September 2013 on charges of sexual assault with his son Narayan Sai lodged in a Surat jail for alleged sexual assault and rape of two sisters.
Asaram’s arrest in 2013 sent shockwaves through the nation with sordid details of his alleged sexual assaults that were leaked to the media outraged his more than 20 million followers. Prominent politicians questioned the arrest and thousands of protests were held across his 425 ashrams worldwide and over 50 gurukuls throughout the country.