35-year-old Kripal Singh was on his way home on a motorcycle when two men allegedly came on a bike from behind and the person riding pillion opened fire at him. Mr Singh received bullet injuries in the back. The duo also allegedly warned him against deposing against Asaram Bapu and fled from the scene.
“He was coming back from the market when two men shot him from the back… He is a witness in the Asaram case… They warned him that if he deposed against him, they wouldn’t leave him,” said the father of a 16-year-old schoolgirl who has accused the 74-year-old guru of sexually assaulting her at his ashram near Jodhpur in Rajasthan in 2013.
The father of the girl said that Mr Singh’s statement in the case against Asaram Bapu had been recorded three months ago. He also said that Mr Singh had told him that he had been receiving threats for some time.
When asked about an attack on a key witness against him in May, Asaram Bapu had, while being taking to a court in Jodhpur, sarcastically remarked, “Duniyaan mein sabhi hamle main hi karwata hoon (I am responsible for all the attacks in this world)”. It was the sixth attack on a witness in the case.
The 74-year-old guru has been in a jail in Jodhpur since September 2013 over allegations of raping the teenage girl. Two months later he, along with his son Narayan Sai, were booked for the alleged rape of two sisters at their ashram in Gujarat’s Surat.
In the time that they have been in jail, nine witnesses have been attacked and two have died.