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Asaram’s son ‘confesses’

Ahmedabad, Dec. 11: Asaram Bapu’s son Narayan Sai has confessed to having raped a woman at his ashram over a decade ago, Surat police claimed today.

“He (Sai) has confessed everything,” Rakesh Asthana, police commissioner of Surat where the alleged rapes occurred between 2002 and 2005, said today.

The 40-year-old, arrested last week after nearly two months on the run, initially insisted the girl was in love with him and that he had “consensual” sex but admitted to his crime later.

The police said Sai was interrogated in the presence of his estranged wife and claimed she had left him as he had been unfaithful.

The victim is the younger of two Surat sisters who have alleged rape by Sai and his father Asaram, who is in jail in Rajasthan on charges of sexually assaulting a minor at an ashram in Jodhpur in August. The elder Surat sister’s charges against Asaram, 72, relate to the period from 1997 to 2006 when she lived at his ashram in Ahmedabad.

The investigators in Sai’s case said they would seek more time to question him “on many points” and seek further extension of his remand that ended today. The interrogation will cover his hideouts and the people who have been helping him while he was on the run for 58 days, Surat police chief Asthana said.

The officer indicated the police was looking for “four to five” aides of Sai who were in constant touch with him and claimed they had passed information about his whereabouts even to his father in jail.

Hanuman, an aide arrested with Sai in Haryana last week, has supported most of the claims made by the Surat rape victim, the police said. He has confessed to having contacted the victim and forced her to meet Sai at a private cottage once, the police added.

Sai was brought to Surat on December 4 after he was arrested following a car chase and was found in the vehicle disguised as a Sikh.

The police have booked Sai under IPC sections on rape, unnatural sex, molestation, wrongful confinement, unlawful assembly, rioting armed with deadly weapon, criminal intimidation and criminal conspiracy.