Jodhpur: Self-styled Godman Asaram has been convicted by a Jodhpur court for raping a teenager at his ashram near this city in 2013. In her complaint, the victim had said Asaram had raper her on the night of August 15, 2013 after calling her to his ashram in Manai area near Jodhpur. It took five years for the court to finally come up with the verdict in the case that witnessed a number of twists and turns, including alleged murders of some of the witnesses in the case.
Asaram, 77, was arrested from Indore by police and brought to Jodhpur on September 1, 2013. He has remained in judicial custody since September 2, 2013. The self-styled Godman was chargesheeted under various sections of POSCO Act, Juvenile Justice Act and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
As Asaram stares at 10-years imprisonment, which is likely to be pronounced today, here are some other self-styled Godman accused or convicted of serious charges.
Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh
The leader of ‘Dera Sachha Sauda’ cult, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh is languishing in jail for raping two sadhvis of his ashram. The sadhvis had narrated to CBI judge the horrific details of how Ram Rahim used to rape them and other women in his ‘gufa’ (his residence in Sirsa, Haryana). Ram Rahim’s disciples used the word ‘maafi’ for rapes., according to police.
The self-styled godman, who also himself produced films and played lead actor, was given 10-10 year jail-term in both cases. His conviction last year led to large-scale violence by his followers in Panchkula, Sirsa and other places.
Rampal has been accused in several cases, including sedition.
Swami Nityanand used to be considered as one of the prominent gurus of south India but his empire was shaken in 2010 after his sex CD came to the fore. He was shown having physical relation with a famous actress in the south. The authenticity of the CD was verified by a forensic lab. But Nityanand’s ashram submitted an American lab’s report on the CD. The self-styled Godman had to spend 52 days in jail in connection with the matter.
Son of Asaram, Narayan Sai has declared himself a ‘godman’. He has been accused of sexual harassment and murder. The son of Asaram has also stayed in the jail for a long time.
Nirmal Baba was once very popular on the TV. He used to make weird suggestions to people to solve their problems. Nirmal Baba has studied engineering and facing several cases of having acquired illegal wealth.
(The story incorrectly mentioned that there was rape charge against Sant Rampal. The error is regretted and has been rectified.)