Controversial Indian guru Asaram Bapu sentenced to life for rape

26 April, 2018, 00:40 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Asaram and 2 aides convicted; 2 other co-accused acquitted

"We have got justice" said the victim's father, who remains unnamed.

However, an ABP report quoting sources also says that after the judgement was read, Asaram reacted telling a policeman, "khayenge, piyenge, mauj arenge kyunki ab yahi rehna hai (I will eat, drink and be merry since I have to spend all my life here)". Reacting to Asaram's conviction, National Commission For Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) member Yashwant Jain said, "This judgment is a lesson to people who think they can get away by committing sexual offences against children". "We welcome the family who fought this so strongly and without whom none of this would have come out", he said.

Earlier this month, there were nationwide protests against the rape and murder of a 12-year-old girl in Khatua in Jammu and Kashmir. The victim alleged that Asaram called her to his ashram in Manai area near Jodhpur and raped her on the intervening night of August 15 and 16. He said the girl, even during the trial, never spoke of rape.

The girl, who was taking spiritual lessons at one of his ashrams, was taken to Asaram, on the pretext that she was possessed by evil spirits and needed to be exorcised.

The arrest of Asaram in 2013 prompted violent clashes between his supporters and police in several major cities. His followers were held for threatening and assaulting witnesses in rape cases against him and his son after they were arrested.

He is also on trial in a separate rape case in Gujarat state, and has been accused of involvement in the killing of two students at another of his Hindu retreats. The former Deputy Inspector-General of Gujarat, who was allegedly involved in fake encounter cases, stated that it was improper to dub Asaram a "rapist". At least three have been killed. The chargesheet against Asaram and four other accused was filed by the police on November 6, 2013 under various sections of the POSCO Act, the Juvenile Justice Act and the IPC.

Born into a poor family in what is now Pakistan, Harpalani built his spiritual empire from the ground up.

This was just hours after the court had found them guilty of raping a teenager from Uttar Pradesh at Asaram's ashram.

Asaram enjoyed the obeisance of political heavyweights including Atal Bihari Vajpayee, HD Deve Gowda, KR Narayanan, LK Advani and Farooq Abdullah, before his ties with the BJP worsened.

The International Cricket Council on Wednesday apologised and launched an investigation into a social media post relating to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that went out from its official handle.



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