Jodhpur: An Asaram “follower” has been arrested here on charges of threatening the father of a minor victim not to depose in court against the jailed self-styled godman in a rape case.
According to the police, the arrested has been identified as Arjun and he had been staying in Jodhpur for quite some time.
They said he was a “follower” of Asaram and had allegedly gone to the hotel, where the parents of the girl were staying, in the morning and had threatened them.
While Karm Veer Singh, father of the girl, claimed that Arjun was an associate of Asaram and had warned him of “dire consequences” if his wife deposed in court against Asaram, Arjun denied the charge and accused Singh of falsely implicating him.
Meanwhile, the hearing in the case was deferred till July 22 after the mother of the girl expressed inability to depose due to the “threat” .
Public Prosecutor R L Meena said that the woman told the court that they have been receiving threats for the past two days. She said she was not in a state of mind where she could reply to the queries of the counsel and urged the court to defer the hearing.
“Granting her plea, the court deferred the hearing till July 22”, he said.
A police official said that they had arrested Arjun acting on Singh’s complaint.
“In his complaint, Singh said that Arjun came to his hotel, where they had been staying. Arjun called him up, and warned him not to depose against Asaram in the court,” said
Singh claimed that Arjun had been associated with Asaram since long and looked after his financial matters.
“He had been trying to talk to me since long and today, he came to my hotel and expressed his wish to talk to me.
“When I came to see him, he started threatening me of dire consequences, if my wife deposes in court against Asaram. I then called my guards, who informed the police and got him arrested,” he said.
On the other hand, Arjun denied the allegations.
He said that the girl’s father had called him up and expressed his wish to talk to him.
“When I went there, he asked me to come to his room and while we were engaged in talking, he called the police and complained to them that I was threatening them,” he alleged.
The victim’s parents are currently staying in Jodhpur to attend the trial in the court, where her mother’s examination is under progress.
Asaram has been in jail since September last year in the case. A complaint was registered by father of a girl alleging that Asaram had raped her when she was studying in a school in his ashram.
He was then booked under sections 376, 342, 506 and 509 of the IPC(dealing with rape and sexual harassment), section 8 of the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) and sections 23 and 26 of the Juvenile Justice Act.