Court reserves order on Asaram’s bail plea

Jodhpur: A court here in Rajasthan Wednesday reserved its order on the bail plea of spiritual guru Asaram Bapu, arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl, lawyers said.

Asaram, 72, is currently lodged in the Jodhpur Central Jail after the court of the district and sessions judge (rural) remanded him to 14-days’ judicial custody in the sexual assault case.

The bail application is being heard by the same court of District and Sessions Judge (Rural) Manoj Vyas.

“The court, after hearing arguments from both sides, has reserved its order,” Asaram’s lawyer K.K. Manan told IANS.

Replying to questions raised by Asaram’s lawyers as to why the police complaint was filed a few days after the alleged incident, public prosecutor Anand Purohit said the girl was in a state of shock and it took time for her to gather courage and file the complaint.

Asaram, who was arrested from his ashram in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, sought bail claiming that police erred in booking him under rape charges, which is non-bailable.

The girl alleged that the sexual assault took place Aug 15 at Asaram’s ashram outside Jodhpur. The spiritual guru has denied the charge.

Meanwhile, Asaram remained restless and was unable to sleep properly during his two-day stay in a prison in Rajasthan, sources said Thursday.

Sources told IANS that Asaram was kept in a separate room instead of the barrack, and mosquitoes troubled him a lot in the night.

“Asaram Bapu slept on a ‘chatai’ (mat) in the room. He sprinkled ‘Gangajal’ (holy water) in the room to purify the surroundings. A few prisoners looked after his needs,” the sources said.

Asaram was given milk and dry fruits. When he refused to take the food provided to ordinary prisoners, “dalia” (porridge) was cooked for him, the sources added.

Jail authorities, however, denied that Asaram was being given any special treatment.

“He is being kept as any ordinary prisoner and no special treatment has been given to him,” jail officials said. (IANS)