A key witness in a rape case against self-styled godman Asaram Bapu was shot at and seriously injured by unidentified assailants in Shajanpur district, making it the ninth attack against witnesses so far.
35-year-old Kripal Singh was shot at by two unidentified motorcycle-borne persons in Puwayan area while he was on his way home on Friday night, police said.
Singh, who sustained severe bullet injuries was rushed to Bareilly where his condition was stated to be critical.
In a statement given to Additional City Magistrate, Singh had alleged that people connected to Asaram Bapu were threatening him for the last few days.
Police said that Singh was an employee of a transport company, whose owner's daughter had lodged a case against the self-styled godman. Singh is said to have been working as an LIC agent and has a six-year old son, reports Indian Express.
"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," the father of the 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 told NDTV.
In January this year, another witness who had served as a cook at Asaram's ashram was shot dead in Muzaffarnagar.
In May, When asked about an attack on a key witness against him, Asaram Bapu had sarcastically remarked, "Duniyaan mein sabhi hamle main hi karwata hoon (I am responsible for all the attacks in this world)".
The 74-year-old guru has been in a jail in Jodhpur since September 2013 over allegations of raping the teenage girl.
With inputs from PTI