A key witness in the Asaram Bapu sexual assault case is in a critical condition after being shot at by unidentified miscreants in the Shahjahanpur district in Uttar Pradesh on July 10.

According to initial reports, Kripal Singh, who is a government witness, was shot at while on his way home from the market. Singh was stated to be critical and rushed to a hospital in Bareilly.

Before escaping, the duo warned him against deposing against Asaram. Special police teams have been constituted to track down the assailants, said local police.

In a statement given to Additional City Magistrate, Singh alleged that people connected to Asaram were threatening him for the last few days. Police said Singh was an employee of a transport firm, whose owner's daughter had lodged a case against 74-year-old Asaram for allegedly sexually assaulting her at his ashram near Jodhpur in Rajasthan in 2013.

Singh is a key witness and his statement in the case against Asaram had been recorded three months ago. Asaram has been in a jail in Jodhpur since September 2013.

This is not the first time a key witness of this case has been attacked by "unidentified" miscreants. Akhil Kumar Gupta, who was a cook for Asaram, was shot dead by gunmen in Muzaffarnagar district in January this year. On March 16 2014, two men on a motorcycle threw acid at Dinesh Bhagchandani, a close aide of Asaram's and now the prime prosecution witness. Nine witnesses have been attacked so far and two have died.