Asaram Bapu verdict: The self-styled godman is accused of raping a minor girl at his Jodhpur ashram. If convicted, Asaram will face a minimum imprisonment of 10 years. The maximum sentence for the crime is life imprisonment.
Asaram Bapu verdict: A local court in Jodhpur today convicted self-styled godman Asaram Bapu in the 2013 rape case of a 16-year-old girl. The 77-year-old is accused of raping the minor girl at his Jodhpur ashram on August 15, 2013. Asaram now faces a minimum imprisonment of 10 years. The maximum sentence for the crime is life imprisonment.
In addition to this case, Asaram and his son Narayan Sai are accused in a double rape case of two sisters in Surat. They are accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting and illegally confining the sisters.
About Jodhpur case:
In August 2013, parents of the girl, who was just 16, filed the zero FIR against Asaram Bapu in Delhi. They accused him of raping their daughter at his Ashram near Jodhpur. The girl, a resident of Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh, was a student at his ashram.
Narrating the ordeal, the girl, who was 16 at the time of crime, said that she and her parents were offered some milk at the ashram. Thereafter, her parents were asked to leave and were given a place to rest within the ashram, while the girl was allegedly taken to Asaram’s hut. The self-styled godman first enquired of the girl about her studies and then told her to meet her parents. She returned to the ashram and told Asaram that they were resting.
According to the girl, she then went to the washroom and when she returned, Asaram was standing without clothes. The girl said that she got scared and shouted, but the hut was secluded. According to her, Asharam told her that “he is god” and that she should “sacrifice herself to him”. He then started touching her, she recalled.
The girl said that she was told that neither her parents nor she will be allowed to live if she creates a scene. He told her that she was on the path to success and she would be made a sevika.
Later, the sevikas asked her parents to send her to Asaram’s ashram in Ahmedabad for further rituals. But the girl managed to evade this citing her menstrual cycle. The victim said that she begged her parents to take her home. The mother, she said, realised something was wrong.
The family rushed to Delhi to confront Asaram Bapu, but they failed. It was then the family decided to file a complaint against him. The FIR was filed on August 20. The case was later transferred to Jodhpur police.