Self-styled Godman Asaram Bapu was found guilty today for committing a rape of a teenager in the year 2013. An exclusive trial court was held today for its adjudication.
Out of the five accused of the charge of rape, three were known to be convicted, including the Self-proclaimed godman, Asaram Bapu, while the other two were exculpated.
The decree was announced from the Jodhpur Central Jail, where Asaram Bapu has been entrenched. This step was to woo away the outrage of Asaram Bapu’s followers akin to the one which cropped up by the followers of Gurmeet Ram Rahim, against his case, last August.
“Asaram is convicted, we have got justice. I want to thank everyone who supported us in this fight. Now I hope he will get strict punishment,” exclaimed the victim’s father!
“We will discuss with our legal team and then decide our future course of action. We have confidence in our judiciary,” cited Neelam Dubey who is the spokesperson of Asaram, after the verdict was announced, to ANI news agency.
Asaram who has been lodged in the jail since 31st August 2013 for being accused of sexual assault on a 16-year-old teenage girl, at his own Ashram in Manai village near Jodhpur, Rajasthan.The girl, hailed from Uttar Pradesh, had been residing in his Ashram as a student and claimed that Asaram called her to his Asaram in Manai area, located near Jodhpur and raped at the night of 15th August 2013.
Asaram, who is currently aged at 77, was hence, charged under the sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. During his string of trial, he was known to pass almost 12 bail applications, out of which, 6 were bluntly rejected by the trial court. Three were shunned by the Rajasthan High Court and the other three by the Supreme Court.
The self-proclaimed godman is even known to be enmeshed in a rape case in Gujarat, where the two sisters have filed a separate case against him and his son Narayan Sai, alleging them of heinous rape and illegitimate custody. Over the period of last four years, since the trail has initiated, almost nine testifiers have been physically assaulted, three of which have already passed away!
“I also hope the witnesses who were murdered or kidnapped get justice,” quoted the rape-survivor’s father.
The Jodhpur Police took a cautious step beforehand and announced the decree of section 144, following the verdict, in case of the susceptible outrage by the angry followers of Asaram.
There was a set up of an exclusive courtroom inside the Jodhpur Central Jail itself, in order to repulse any drama by the huge numbered fans of the convict.Also, frightening the threat to the law and order of the country by the angry multitude-followers of the convict, the Jodhpur police had beforehand requested the Rajasthan HC to hold the trial within the Jodhpur Jail quarter itself. Hence, post the acknowledgment the Jodhpur police began an exceptional security allotment around the city. A 10-day antagonistic order has also been issued from April 21-30.
“We have cleared up his (Asaram’s) ashrams and asked all hotels and guest-houses to not allow any of his followers. We have been keeping an eye on bus and railway stations as well as the airport to ensure that his followers did not enter the city,” quoted Jodhpur DCP Amandeep Singh Kapoor.
The center has also commanded Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana and UP to stiffen the security and also unfold additional forces. The Shahjahangarh district agency has hastened the security around the victim’s home premises.
Besides, all the access to the cities has been secured, along with the activation of the control rooms in the adjacent districts and states.
The Police have kept a really strong stonewall at the victim’s home in case of any threat to the family. In addition to the 10 guards, women constables and many intelligence agents are keeping a keen eye on the victim’s home-zone!
“We are taking no chances. No one is allowed to meet the family without verification. Local intelligence teams, Cheetah teams, and police teams are keeping an eye,” a police official told TOI yesterday.