The Gujarat High Court today granted regular bail to an accused in the murder of Amrut Prajapati, a key witness in the rape case allegedly involving self-styled godman Asaram, on the ground he was not directly named in the dying declaration of the victim.
Justice P P Bhatt granted bail to Basavraj Avanna Talloi, arrested for the murder of Prajapati who was shot dead in a Rajkot clinic two years back by unidentified assailants.
The judge observed the accused was not directly named by Prajapati in his dying declaration. He asked Basavraj not to leave Gujarat and mark his presence in a local police station every Thursday.
City Crime Branch sleuths had arrested Basavraj, a native of Bijapur in Karnataka, in September last year from Bengaluru for his alleged involvement in orchestrating attacks on witnesses in rape cases registered against Asaram and his son Narayan Sai, filed in Ahmedabad and Surat, respectively. The witnesses were former aides of Asaram and his son.
The police had lodged four cases against Basavraj, including those related to attacks on witnesses and committing robbery in Surat to raise money to fund assaults.
He was in the past granted bail by the high court in three of the four cases filed against him.
Prajapati once worked as a close aide and personal doctor of Asaram at his ashram in Motera here.
Surat Police on October 6, 2013 had registered complaints filed by two sisters – one against Asaram and another against his son — relating to rape, sexual assault and illegal confinement, among others.
The complaint against Asaram was transferred to Chandkheda Police Station in Ahmedabad, where the incident took place.
The elder of the two sisters, in her complaint, had accused Asaram of sexual assaults between 1997 and 2006 when she had been living in his ashram here.
The younger sister had filed a complaint against Sai, accusing him of repeated sexual assaults between 2002 and 2005 when she was living in their Surat ashram.
Asaram is at present lodged in Jodhpur jail in another rape case filed against him in Rajasthan.