Brought to court, lawyers berate cops for giving preferential treatment to the godman even as media was denied entry
Asaram and his son Narayan are under the scanner after two sisters levelled charges of rape against them before the police in Surat. According to the FIR while the father committed the alleged crime in the Ahmedabad ashram, the son allegedly raped the other sister in the Surat ashram as well as in their other ashrams located in different parts of the country. Narayan is absconding.
With special police teams rushed from Ahmedabad standing by, Asaram was brought from Jodhpur via Mumbai by air on Monday evening. He spent the night in the heavily guarded precincts of the Anti-Terrorist Squad headquarters in Ahmedabad and was brought to the state capital, Gandhinagar under an unprecedented security cover of 21 police vehicles. Even the media was denied entry in the court premises.
Produced in the court of judicial magistrate V M Budh, he was remanded to police custody till October 19. While the police put forth 13 points while seeking 14-day remand for Asaram, defence lawyer B M Gupta argued against the remand.
According to the police plea, his custody was needed for reconstruction of the crime, investigating if similar crimes were committed with other women as well and if there is any unlawful activity taking place in his Ashrams. Police sources said that Asaram, who was grilled on his arrival has feigned ignorance about the victim and claimed to be a practising celibate for years now. He alleged targeting by the Congress for speaking against its president and vice-president.
With strict checking and entry restricted to prevent his supporters from entering the court, Asaram was provided a hostile reception by the lawyers present in the premises who questioned why the police was giving preferential treatment to an alleged rapist.
After the completion of arguments, the court took a break for about an hour, but when the police took him out and made him sit under a fan, lawyers again objected and forced the police to take him back in the courtroom and keep him in the stand designated for the accused.