A Jodhpur police investigation team will leave for Indore on Saturday in case self-styled godman Asaram Bapu, accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old inmate of his Ashram, fails to appear before the police on Friday.
The Jodhpur police had issued summons to Asaram Bapu at his ashram in Indore on Tuesday asking him to appear before it in Jodhpur by Friday. After accepting the summons hesitatingly, however, the godman had asked for more time from the police.
But if he fails to keep his date with the law, the Jodhpur police will try and complete the rest of the investigation in Indore, or wherever Asaram will be.
“The other three staff members of his Chhindwara Ashram, who were to appear before us on Thursday, have failed to do so,” DCP Jodhpur (West) Ajay Pal Lamba told The Hindu.
Mr. Lamba confirmed that the police had turned down the godman's request for more time.
“We are waiting for Asaram himself to appear before us on Friday but if he fails to do so, we will send an investigation team to Indore to question him,” said Mr. Lamba.
If the godman is found guilty of the crime he is accused of once the investigation is complete, the Investigating Officer would make an arrest, Mr. Lamba said.
On Wednesday, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot met Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and briefed him of the ongoing investigation.
Mr. Gehlot, who has maintained a tough stance on the issue since it came to light, had promised strict action against Asaram Bapu if the probe found him guilty.