Ahmedabad: Self-styled godman Asaram Bapu has been named as 'wanted' accused, in the charge sheet filed by the police's Special Operations Group (SOG) in the case of attack on a witness, who had deposed against the controversial spiritual guru.
The charge sheet was filed against two accused, K D Patel and Kartik Haldar, who were recently arrested by the SOG for allegedly attacking Raju Chandak in 2009, as he had turned against Asaram. A case had been filed against five persons in this connection and Asaram was one of the accused.
The SOG had filed the charge sheet in the court of metropolitan magistrate H H Gandhi last Monday and said they would begin proceedings to bring Asaram in the court in this connection.
"In the charge sheet filed against the duo, Asaram has been named as the wanted accused," Investigating officer in the case B D Jadeja said.
Asaram Bapu is at present lodged in Jodhpur jail, where he is facing n charges of rape.
"The charge sheet against Asaram will be filed after we arrest him in the case. We have began proceedings to bring him here and arrest him in this case," Jadeja added.
The other two accused named in the charge sheet are: Pankaj alias Arjun Mirchandani and Sanju Malegaon.
The charge sheet says that Asaram planned attack on Chandak as he was upset with the sting operation that was conducted against him in connection with the mysterious death of two boys, who lived in Asaram ashram situated in Motera locality in Ahmedabad.
Asaram allegedly told K D Patel to kill Chandak with the help of another accused Kartik Haldar.
In 2009, after Chandak's deposition before a high court-formed D K Trivedi Commission in connection with death of two boys, Asaram planned to eliminate him.
Patel, who was a manager, financier and legal cell head of Asaram's Motera ashram in Ahmedabad, and Pankaj, were asked to provide money, motorcycle and a revolver to Kartik, who along with one Sanju Malegao fired upon Chandak and fled. Chandak survived the attack.
As many as nine witnesses have been attacked, who have testified against Asaram and his son Narayan Sai, both accused in different sexual assault cases, of which three witnesses — Amrut Prajapati, Kripal Singh and Akil Gupta- died following the attack.
A court in Gandhinagar had last month framed charges against Asaram in the rape case filed by a Surat-based woman.
During the hearing in the rape case today, Sessions Judge Rizwana Ghoghari said he has written to the Gujarat High Court to arrange the trial for Asaram in either Gandhinagar Collectorate or Sabarmati central jail, which have video conference facility as the Gandhinagar court does not have it.
The judge, while posting the matter for further hearing on 5 July, said that Asaram should be made present via video conference during the trial.