A trial court in Jodhpur found Asaram Bapu guilty of raping a 16-year-old girl at one of his ashrams. The self styled Godman has been sentenced with lifetime imprisonment.
The victim, who was studying at Asaram’s ashram in Chhindwara, had alleged that the godman summoned her to his ashram in Manai near Jodhpur and raped her on the night of August 15, 2013. The court is yet to set a date for deciding on the quantum of sentence for Asaram. He faces a minimum sentence of ten years in jail and a maximum of life term under the stringent sections of a law on sexual crimes against children. He has been reportedly found guilty of all the four charges — sexual assault, criminal conspiracy, criminal intimidation and illegal confinement of a minor.
Victim’s father wants justice for murdered and kidnapped witnesses too: Speaking to news agencies after the verdict, the father of the rape survivor said, “Asaram is convicted, we have got justice. I want to thank everyone who supported us in this fight.” Further, he said that witnesses in the case who were murdered or kidnapped should also get justice. Asaram is convicted, we have got justice. I want to thank everyone who supported us in this fight. Now I hope he will get strict punishment. I also hope the witnesses who were murdered or kidnapped get justice: Father of Shahjahanpur victim
The verdict comes nearly five years after rape charges were levelled against the self-styled godman. Asaram could get 10 years in jail: Asaram could be jailed for a minimum of 10 years or awarded a maximum life term, according to prosecution lawyers. The charge-sheet against Asaram and four other co-accused was filed by the police under various sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) 2012, Juvenile Justice Act, and IPC.