Fugitive preacher's son arrested in India

Narayan Sai, son of detained preacher Asaram, arrested for alleged sexual assault after being on the run for two months.

    Fugitive preacher's son arrested in India
    Asaram (C), and his son Narayan Sai (L) had a big following in northern states before the scandal broke [EPA]

    After nearly two months on the run in a case of alleged sexual assault, Narayan Sai, the son of self-styled religious preacher Asaram has been captured on the border of Delhi and Haryana states.

    Sai and his father were accused by two sisters of rape in Surat town in the western state of Gujarat a couple of month back. Since then, Sai has gone missing until he was caught on Wednesday disguised as a Sikh.

    The father, Asaram, is in jail since September in Jodhpur, in the western Indian state of Rajasthan in another case, this one on charges of raping a minor.

    "Narayan Sai has been arrested from Delhi-Haryana border. One of his aides Hanuman too has been arrested with him," said reports, quoting Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ravindra Yadav.

    The police had been hot on the heels of Sai. A team from Gujarat police searched several places in Delhi in October including their ashrams in several locations. But to no avail.

    Eventually, an associate of Sai was arrested on charges of helping him hide from the police. This apparently got them closer to Sai and finally on Wednesday he was apprehended.

    Complaints

    Two complaints were registered by the police in Surat - against Asaram and his son Sai which included charges of rape, sexual assault and illegal confinement. While one sister had alleged she was raped by Sai between 2002 and 2005, another had charged Asaram of raping her between 1997 and 2006 when she lived in the ashram.

    Also known as Narayan Prem Sai and called Sai Ji by his followers, Sai is considered a spiritual leader, singer, lyricist and a poet.

    Asaram, until the rape charges were made against him, was a preacher with a large following in the northern states. Since his arrest, several allegations of corruption in his ashrams have surfaced, according to media reports.
    Local residents too have complained against the activities in the ashrams. Government agencies are also investigating allegations against Asaram and associates of financial irregularities and charges of encroaching government land.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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