Talking to reporters here, Purohit said the prosecution may also consider making one of Asaram's associates, Shiva or Shilpi, a government witness. While Shiva, an aide of Asaram's, is in police custody, Shilpi, the warden at the Chhindwara Gurukul where the girl was a student, is still absconding.
Jodhpur police said they have established a strong link in connection with the case between and Shiva and Shilpi. "Shilpi is a vital link in the investigation... Shiva was the mediator between Shilpi and Asaram," DCP Ajay Pal Lamba told reporters here.
"It is Shilpi who planned to send the girl to Asaram by convincing her that she was under the spell of evil spirits and only Bapu could save her," the DCP added. "Shilpi was in regular touch with the parents of the girl in order to convince them about taking their daughter to either the ashram at Jodhpur or in Ahmedabad," he said.
There were dozens of calls exchanged between Shilpi, Shiva and the girl's parents from August 13 to 15, the day when the 16-yr-old-girl was allegedly sexually assaulted at Manai ashram by the accused. Police have submitted call data records in court to back their claim, he said.
Meanwhile, Shiva, who is facing three-days' police custody, refused all allegations against Asaram saying, "There was no sexual exploitation of the girl... it is a conspiracy by Congress to malign him (Asaram)". As to the references to an alleged CD in the case, Shiva said, "There is no CD in existence as mentioned by police". Asaram's bail plea was yesterday rejected by District and Sessions (Rural) court judge, Manoj Kumar Vyas.
Shiva also alleged that he was subjected to custodial torture by police. While being taken to a hospital here for a medical examination, he also alleged that police had cut off his hair against his wishes. Local police have rejected all the allegations made by Asaram's aide.
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