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Gandhinagar court convicts godman Asaram Bapu in 2013 disciple's rape case Asaram Bapu

Gandhinagar court convicts godman Asaram Bapu in 2013 disciple's rape case

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 30 Jan 2023, 10:09 pm

Gandhinagar/IBNS: A Gandhinagar court Monday convicted self-styled godman Asaram Bapu of raping a Surat-based girl at his ashram in Gujarat in 2013, a court in Gandhinagar ruled on Monday.

As per the FIR lodged at Chandkheda police station in Ahmedabad, Asaram allegedly raped the girl, who was his disciple, on several occasions from 2001 to 2006 when she was living at his ashram on the outskirts of the city.

Sessions court judge DK Soni reserved its order on the quantum of sentence for Tuesday.

In 2013, the 16-year-old girl from Uttar Pradesh's Shahajahanpur accused Asaram of raping her at his ashram in Manai village near Jodhpur on the night of Aug 15.

He was taken to Jodhpur Central Jail the same month from where he filed a number of bail petitions.

The charge sheet was filed against Asaram and four others in the case in November and had indicated blackmail in exchange for sexual favours.

Asaram was booked under Sections 342 (wrongful confinement), 376 (rape), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 509 (insult the modesty of any woman) of the Indian Penal Code, and Section 8 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO).

During the time Asaram was in jail, a number of the key witnesses in the case were attacked or went missing. His doctor Amrut Prajapat was shot in Gujarat's Rajkot in June 2014.

His cook Akhil Gupta and another key witness, Kripal Singh, were shot dead in 2015 in Uttar Pradesh.

Meanwhile, Mahendra Chawala and Rahul Sachan, two other witnesses, were attacked on the premises of the Jodhpur court in 2015. They survived and went ahead to depose against Asaram.

In April 2018, Asaram was sentenced to life in prison for raping the teenage girl from Uttar Pradesh.

In addition to the life term in prison, he was also charged under two other laws for which he got another 20 years in jail.

Ahead of the pronouncement of the verdict, security had been tightened in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana.

The judgement in the case was pronounced inside the Jodhpur Central Jail for fear of possible communal violence.