The district court at Patiala House has banned the publication of the book 'Gunning for the Godman: The True Story Behind Asaram Bapu's Conviction’ by IPS officer of Rajasthan cadre Ajay Pal Lamba. The book was to be published by Harper Collins and sold on Amazon and Flipkart. The order restrains them from publishing and selling the book till September 30. The order was passed on Friday on the plea by a close aide of Asaram, Sanchita Gupta alias Shilpi.
Sanchita Gupta alias Shilpi had been sentenced to 20-year jail-term but is currently out on bail. She was the warden of the hostel where the girl who accused Asaram of rape lived. Insiders however believe the move to halt the book has been guided by the motive of preventing renewed focus on the Asaram case through an insider’s account. The court accepted her plea the book could affect her appeal pending in the Rajasthan High Court.
Lamba a 2005 batch IPS officer was then the DCP at Jodhpur and headed the team that handled the case registered under POCSO in 2013. A girl was raped at a farm in Manai village near Jodhpur. Asaram was sentenced to life in April 2018. Two of his aides Shilpi and Sharat were also sentenced to 20 years in jail and two had been absolved of charges.
Lamba had received over numerous death threats throughout the probe. The 4-part book ‘Gunning for the Godman: The True Story Behind Asaram Bapu's Conviction’ by Lamba, currently the ACP at Jaipur, begins with the zero FIR lodged at Delhi and transferred to Jodhpur. It ends with the conviction of Asaram.
Speaking to ‘The Free Press Journal’, Ajay Pal Lamba said, “I have been receiving threat calls ever since Asaram’s supporters have come to know a book is about to be published. It is a factual account of the Asaram case. Everything is documented in the case file. I have shared the experiences of our team while handling the high profile case. An entire part is dedicated to the court proceedings. The nitty grities that came up during the trial have also been mentioned.”
“I do not know why they are doing it they are bringing it in limelight themselves. An appeal will be filed against this and we hope for the best,” added Lamba.