The sexual assault case involving allegations against self-styled godman Asaram Bapu was fit for trial in a fast-track court, Additional Advocate General Anand Purohit said on Thursday.
Talking to reporters in Jodhpur, 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," Deputy Commissioner of Police Ajay Pal Lamba told reporters in Jodhpur. "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. The 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 the 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 rejected on Wednesday by District and Sessions (Rural) Court Judge Manoj Kumar Vyas.