Self styled godman Asaram held guilty for rape

The Centre has asked the Rajasthan Gujarat and Haryana governments to tighten security and deploy additional forces as the three states have a large number of followers of the 77-year-old Asaram who faces a minimum term of 10 years if convicted

A self-styled Indian spiritual guru who claims millions of followers worldwide has been given a life sentence for raping a 16-year-old girl. According to the charge sheet reports reads that "One day the girl felt dizzy and her hostel warden Shilpi told her that she is under the influence of 'bad souls".

A young and passionate Jyoti (name changed), who said she had been a follower of Asaram for 15 years, refused to believe that her "gurudev" could ever have committed a crime like rape.

Asaram Bapu unsuccessfully moved 12 bail applications, of which six were rejected by the trial court, three by the Rajasthan High Court and three by the Supreme Court. In the decades since, he has built up a vast religious empire that includes 400 ashrams, or religious schools, across India, as well as numerous global outreach programs.

Asaram, along with his son, Narayan Sai, is also facing trial in Gujarat for raping two Surat-based sisters.

The final arguments in the case had been completed by the special court for SC/ST cases on April 7 and the court had kept the order reserved to be pronounced on April 25. In the complaint she lodged, she stated that Asaram had touched her inappropriately and had asked her to perform oral sex. It was there where the teenage girl was raped and police said the guru threatened to kill her family if she discussed what happened.

A charge sheet was made against Asaram and other members involved in the rape on November 2013. Proving me wrong, the girl gave a clear map of Asaram's ashram at Manai village, around 38-km from Jodhpur, where she was assaulted. The absence of separating religion from politics, resulting in the distortion of democracy and secularism means people like Asaram Bapu will continue to thrive. A petition for this will be filed soon in the High Court.

"Around 5.45 pm, the family met the DO again, who informed the then SHO (of Kamla Market police station) Pramod Joshi, after he returned from the Ramlila Ground".

Yet again, a guilty verdict has been passed in India where sexual assault and rape is being committed by so-called hugely followed and "trusted" cult spiritual leaders. "It was also my first posting, I joined on July 21, 2013, and the case came to us next month in August", she said.

His followers stand steadfast beside him, making it easy to conclude that nothing will shake their faith in their Bapu.

The decision to bring him in police custody on a plane from Indore to Jodhpur was taken to ensure his socalled supporters didn't get an opportunity to orchestrate protests and tamasas on the way.

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