Self-styled godman Asaram, who kept a Jodhpur Police team waiting for eight hours at his ashram before finally surrendering around midnight on Saturday, spent the night on a sofa in the VIP lounge of Indore airport under the watch of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel.
Asaram is facing charges of sexually assaulting a girl at his ashram in Jodhpur in Rajasthan. He was arrested from his Khandwa Road ashram at Indore in Madhya Pradesh.
Soon after his arrest, Asaram was taken to Indore airport, a move that kept people guessing as there was no flight at 1am nor was there any chartered flight.
Sources said Asaram was restless throughout and a doctor was called in the morning to check his blood pressure and vitals. He took a glass of milk and boarded Air India flight AI-635 that took off at 7.50am.
Police ensured that his supporters did not cause disturbance in the town and did not let them leave the ashram till his flight took off. Several supporters left the city once they were allowed to.
Asaram was whisked away from the ashram so swiftly that it surprised even his supporters, who had half an hour before blocked all exit points.
At the airport, the CISF did not let anybody other than passengers enter the terminal building until Asaram’s flight had taken off.
While many supporters did leave the ashram, about 500 others stayed put and started chalking out their future course of action now that their leader was behind bars.
One consensus that was developing among them was to hold a dharna or a protest in the city for Asaram’s release and also launch a campaign to show that he had been framed.
However, Asaram’s son Narayan Sai, in-charge of the ashram in his father’s absence, advised supporters not to do anything rash, instead asking them to observe ‘maun vrat’ (silence) on Sunday.
The media seemed to have been marked out for “special treatment” from Asaram’s supporters as they interrogated everybody entering the ashram premises and ensured that they were not from the media.
Video: Jodhpur Police get one-day custody of Asaram