Tuesday, 21 August, 2018

Asaram Bapu sentenced to life imprisonment for raping minor girl

Asaram Bapu sentenced to life imprisonment for raping minor girl Asaram Bapu sentenced to life imprisonment for raping minor girl
Charlie Simmons | 25 April, 2018, 16:00

Asaram was arrested in 2013 after a case of sexual assault was filed against him by two of his followers who alleged that he had assaulted their daughter.

Ajay Pal Lamba, the IPS officer who supervised the investigation into the case, after Asaram's conviction, said that "This is a historic verdict for criminal jurisprudence".

Asaram, who has a long flowing white beard and dresses in white robes, has 400 ashrams that teach meditation and yoga.

Asaram's involvement was probed in two separate cases - one from Rajasthan and the other from Gujarat.

Hindustan Times reported that Lamba, then deputy commissioner of police (DCP), Jodhpur West, was handed over the most high profile case in his career on August 20, 2013.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect the sentence awarded to Asaram by the court.

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Bapu, a self-styled "Godman" who has a flowing white beard and wears white robes, was found guilty on Wednesday, with a judge later handing him a life sentence. The survivor and her family members had already decided not to visit Jodhpur due to security concerns and they have opted to stay inside the house since Tuesday.

The crime carries a minimum sentence of ten years in jail, with sentencing set for later on Wednesday, although prosecutors are seeking a life term.

This is the fourth case in the history of Indian judiciary that verdict has been pronounced inside the jail The others were former Prime Minister Indira Ganshi's assassinators (Tihar Jail), Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab (Arthur Road Jail) and Gurmeet Ram Rahim (Sunaria Jail Rohtak).

The victim told her parents what had happened the following day. "The letters stopped only when I shifted to Udaipur", Lamba, now the superintendent of police (anti-corruption bureau) in Jodhpur, told the newspaper.

Asaram came to Ahmedabad in the early 70s and started doing penance on the banks of Sabarmati near Motera area. According to his website, he has millions of followers in many parts of the world. The police are also investigating him for corruption and forgery. The trial in this case is underway.

Three witnesses have been killed and several others attacked and threatened for speaking against the 77-year-old godman. Meanwhile, Asaram Bapu has denied the rape charges.

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