Gujarat court convicts Asaram of raping a woman who was staying at his ashram

Asaram is currently being held in jail in Jodhpur in another rape case. (Case)


More than nine years after a former disciple of Asaram Bapu filed a rape complaint against him during his earlier stay at his ashram, a court in Gandhinagar convicted the so-called godman on Monday and is expected to hand down sentencing on Tuesday.

Magistrate’s Court Judge DK Soni acquitted six other defendants, including Asaram’s wife Laxmiben, their daughter and four followers accused of aiding and abetting the crime due to lack of evidence, the court said. charge.

Asaram’s lawyer said the magistrate’s court order will be challenged in the Gujarat High Court.

Notably, the victim’s younger sister was raped and illegally detained by Asaram’s son, Narayan Sai. Sai was sentenced to life imprisonment by a Surat Magistrates Court in April 2019 in the rape case filed against him by his former follower in 2013.

According to the FIR (First Information Report) recorded at Chandkheda police station in Ahmedabad on October 6, 2013, against Asaram Bapu and six others, the so-called godman had raped the female disciple, originally from Surat, on several occasions from 2001. to 2006 while living in her ashram in Motera near Ahmedabad before she managed to escape.

Minutes were filed in July 2014.

“The court convicted Asaram Bapu under Sections 376 2 (C) of rape, 377 (offences against nature), 342 (wrongful detention), 354 (criminal assault or violence against a woman with intent to outrage her modesty ), 357 (assault) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code,” said Special Prosecutor RC Kodekar.

The court is expected to issue its order on the quantum of the sentence on Tuesday, he said.

The court accepted the prosecution case against Asaram Bapu but did not acknowledge that six other people, including Asaram’s wife and daughter, had abetted the crime, it added.

The 81-year-old godman is currently serving a life sentence in a Jodhpur prison for raping an underage girl at his ashram in Rajasthan in 2013.

“The prosecution succeeded in proving the (Ahmedabad ashram) rape case against Asaram. The court also accepted the argument that the victim was subject to criminal intimidation – a reason why there was a delay of several years in filing the FIR,” Kodekar said. said.

Asaram’s attorney, CB Gupta, said the prosecution interviewed 55 witnesses during the nine-and-a-half-year trial.

He said the court order will be challenged in the High Court.

The victim and his sister found the courage to speak out against the influential spiritual guru and Narayan Sai, who has a huge following and runs a network of ashrams in India, after Asaram was arrested by Rajasthan police in August 2013.

A court in Jodhpur on April 25, 2018 sentenced Asaram to life in prison after convicting him of raping a minor at his ashram in 2013. His two accomplices were sentenced to 20 years in prison by the court in the same case for their roles.

The Gujarat High Court in December 2021 rejected Asaram’s bail application in the rape case, which he challenged in the Supreme Court.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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