Witness missing in Asaram case : Parents say he last visited in 2003, police clueless

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It has been over a month that Rahul Sachan, a key witness in three rape cases against “godman Asaram Bapu” and his son “Narayan Sai,” went missing under mysterious circumstances from Lucknow.

While Rahul has been missing since November 26, both his parents and the police are clueless about his whereabouts.

Rahul’s parents, who live in Ghatampur area in Kanpur, have told the police that Rahul had last visited them in 2003. He had reportedly not contacted them since then.

“We last met Rahul in November, 2003 when he returned home after a decade. Rahul was then worried about his security because he had left Asaram, following some differences.

He stayed with us for five months and left one day without informing us. Since then we have not seen him,” said Rahul’s father Ram Kumar Sachan (74).

Ram Kumar, an IIT-Kharagpur pass out, had worked as an assistant engineer for seven years in the Ministry of Agriculture. He resigned in 1973 and took up a private job. He said that Rahul did not even attend the wedding of his only sister Jyoti, which took place in 1996. Rahul, however, had visited home when his younger brother, Pankaj, died of kidney problems in 1999.

Rahul was inclined towards spiritualism. I was working in a private firm in Delhi when Rahul took “guru deeksha” from Asaram Bapu. A year later, in 1992, he left home with his belongings. I used to get information about him through relatives and friends, hence, never filed a missing report, said Ram Kumar, who had worked in private firms in Germany and Iraq too.

Rahul had completed his Intermediate when he left home in 1992. I do not know if he continued with his studies or got married. In 2003, while I was working in a private firm in Mumbai, I sent an email on an address on Asaram Bapu’s website with our details, including our Mumbai address and telephone number. A few days later, Rahul called up and spoke to his mother, said Ram Kumar.

“He later visited our Mumbai home and stayed with us for about four months. He told us that he has left Asaram because of his wrongdoings and was now planning to start some business. He attended a audio recording training course in Mumbai.”

Three months later, we returned to our parental home in Kanpur to take part in a function. A few days later, Rahul left home and went to his uncle Suresh Kumar Sachan’s house in Kanpur. He stayed with him for a few days and left. This was 2003, since then he had not returned, said Ram Kumar. “I got to know that Rahul had become a witness in cases against Asaram and his son. In February, last year, when Rahul was attacked outside the Jodhpur court, I had sent my nephew Chandra Kant to Jodhpur. He brought him to Kanpur but Rahul did not come to the parental home to meet us and left after a few days.

Rahul is a witness in two cases filed against Asaram in Jodhpur and Ahmedabad and another against Narayan Sai in Surat. He was given security cover by Lucknow police in May, 2015. Following this, since October, he was staying in Lucknow’s Thakurganj area. On November 26, Rahul had taken a bus from Qaiserbagh bus stand, reportedly after telling his police gunner to leave and that he would return after a few days. He is yet to return and his cellphone is switched off.

On the police gunner’s complaint, a missing report was filed with the police, which was changed to kidnapping the next day.

The investigating officer of the case, Sub-inspector Vijay Kumar Pandey, said: “We had visited Rahul’s parents two days ago but they too do not know where he is. We have not got any clue about his location so far.”

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