In the case of minor rape, Jodhpur court has sentenced life imprisonment to life imprisonment while convicting Asaram Bapu.
Apart from Asaram, Shiva, Sharat Chandra, Shilpi and Prakash were accused in this case.
The court sentenced Shilpi and Sarat Chandra to 20-20 years. Shiva, who was the private secretary of Asaram’s ashram, and Prasanna, Asaram’s personal secretary, was acquitted.
Sharat Chandra was the director of Chhindwara Ashram where a minor girl used to study. Shilpi was the Warden of the Chhindwara Ashram.
Prakash’s lawyer Rajendra Chaudhary told the media that Asaram Bapu has been found guilty under section 376 and he has been sentenced to stay in a Taumar jail.
The arguments in this case had already ended and the sentence was adjourned on Wednesday after which the court sentenced.
What is the full Jodhpur case?
The 77-year-old Asaram had alleged that he had raped a 16-year-old girl in Manei Ashram near Jodhpur in year 2013. The girl’s parents were devotees of Asaram.
One day, when the girl fell in the school of Asaram’s Chhindwara Ashram, parents went to Asaram’s Jodhpur ashram for treatment on the advice of Ashram’s officials. According to the police, the girl’s parents were told that the girl is a ghost and she can treat her.
According to the police, when the girl reached Jodhpur’s ashram, Asaram raped her.
Asaram is also accused in the case of rape of another woman whose suit is being run separately.
What was the case?
After the Asaram’s abusive on August 15, 2013, the girl complained her to Delhi Police on August 20 at a police station in Delhi.
After this the matter was shifted to Jodhpur and an FIR was lodged.
After that Asaram was arrested in Indore. After the arrest, Asaram’s supporters had a huge ruckus and demonstration.
After the arrest, Asaram’s maternal test was conducted in which he was successful and then on 2 September 2013 he was sent to judicial custody. Since then, he is in jail. As many as 12 bail petitions were filed on behalf of Asaram, none of which was accepted.
Jodhpur Police filed charge sheet against Asaram and four others in November 2013 in the case.
Mahendra, who has worked as Narayan Sai’s private secretary, has served as Asaram’s ashrams for nearly ten years as a ‘sevadar’
Attacks on witnesses
Since the hearing began in the court of this case in year 2014, Asaram’s supporters attacked on many witnesses.
Asaram’s personal assistant, Amrut Prajapati, was shot dead in May 2014.
Akhil Gupta, who worked as a cook in his ashram, was killed in Muzaffarnagar in 2015.
Rahul Sakhan, considered to be a witness of the rape conviction, was knife at Jodhpur court premises and later he disappeared.
Another witness Mahendra Chawla was also shot dead.
In total, nine witnesses of the case have been attacked so far, including a journalist. Three of them died while one was missing.
Asaram is a spiritual teacher. They have set up nearly 400 ashrams in 19 countries and it is believed that their number of devotees is about 40 million.
Asaram was born in Sindh province of present day Pakistan in 1941. After partition, they come to Gujarat and stay in Gujarat. 45 years ago, he made his first ashram in Gujarat. Since then, his popularity has been steadily increasing and big people are also among the class of their devotees.
India’s current Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with many well-known politicians of India, has also been his fan and has been involved in his religious gatherings.