Asaram Bapu verdict: The self-styled godman has been convicted for raping a 16-year-old in 2013. Special Judge Madhusudhan Sharma delivered the verdict in a makeshift court at the Jodhpur Central Jail where the self-styled godman has been lodged since 2013.
The trial in the two cases against him has been marked by a string of attacks against witnesses who dared to testify against him. Even the police and media men said they have been targetted. Jodhpur, where Asaram has been jailed since 2013, has been converted to a fortress to prevent any reprisals from his followers. Similar precautions have been taken in Shahjahanpur of Uttar Pradesh, where the young woman and her family now stay. Besides Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, extensive security arrangements have been made in Delhi and Haryana too.
The Rajasthan High Court had earlier ordered that the Asaram verdict be delivered inside the Jodhpur Central Jail. Elaborate security arrangements were made with Section 144 being imposed in the city. The chargesheet had named Asaram and four others — Sanchita alias Shilpi, Sharad Chandra alias Sharat Chandra, Prakash and Shiva alias Sava Ram Hethvadiya. Asaram is charged under sections of the POCSO Act, Juvenile Justice Act and IPC.
Here are some reactions.
From riches to rags… From saint to sinner…. From AsaramBapu to HeyRam
In 2013, thE self-styled godman was accused by a girl from Uttar Pradesh of raping her at the ashram. Her parents were his followers. One day the girl was brought to his ashram after school for treatment as she had fainted. Her parents were told that their daughter possessed evil spirits and can be cured at the ashram.
Later when her parents took her to the ashram Manai village near Jodhpur, they were told that their daughter needed to be left alone. On August 15, 2013 the girl accused Asaram of sexually assaulting her. In her complaint at a Delhi police station on August 20, 2013, she stated that she was asked to perform oral sex and was touched inappropriately.
The 76-year old self-declared saint is accused of raping a teen girl at his ashram in Jodhpur in 2013. Days after figuring in Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad’s list of fake saint, self-proclaimed godman Asaram Bapu now described himself as a donkey. The ‘fake’ religious guru’s reaction came while he was speaking to reporters, outside a court after his latest hearing. With a journalist being curious to know the category where Asaram sees himself, the infuriated sadhu replied, “the category of donkeys.”
The 76-year old self-declared saint is accused of raping a teen girl at his ashram in Jodhpur in 2013. Despite seven attempts to plead for a bail, the court has always turned down his request and Asaram had been in jail since 2013.
Last week, Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad, the apex body of saints and sadhu’s in India released a list of ‘fake babas’ thereby warning devotees to avoid consulting them in any religious or spiritual matter. The Akhara consists of 14 groups across the country. Also on the list of ‘fake sadhu’ were Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, Raadhe Maa, Swami Aseemanand, Nirmal Baba and Rampal. These self-anointed gurus and bapus who, riding on their mass popularity, financial strength and political connections, have become leaders of various cults. They have been called out by the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad (ABAP) as “charlatans who have brought disrepute to sadhus and sanyasis”.
The Parishad’s president Swami Narendra Giri said: “We appeal to the common people to beware of such charlatans who belong to no tradition and by their questionable acts, bring disrepute to sadhus and sanyasis… As per the Hindu way of life, only followers of the age-old tradition of Sanyasi, Nath, Vaishnav, Shaiv, Udasin, Nirmal and Guru Nanak sects are saints.” Apart from these, no self-proclaimed godman or godwoman should be considered a saint as they are neither part of any akhara, nor ordained.”
Close on the heels of the Supreme Court questioning the tardy pace of trial in the case involving self-styled godman Asaram Bapu, the district administration has stepped up the security of the rape victim. “Two more security personnel have been deployed at the residence of the rape victim and now half a dozen police personnel, including a lady constable, will remain on duty,” Superintendent of Police KB Singh said.
Bullet proof jackets have also been made available to two personnel so that they can move about to check security arrangements, he said. The SP said that the entire family was under security and he has been monitoring it from time to time. The father of the victim, however, alleged that he has been making requests for an arms licence for his son ever since the incident took place but to no avail. He stressed that it was important for their security.
He also sought additional security for the scribe Narendra Yadav, who had actively covered the entire incident in a local daily as he had been given only one security guard. He needs to be given proper security as per the SC directives, the victim’s father said. The 16-year-old Shahjahanpur girl had alleged rape by Asaram at his Jodhpur ashram and had lodged a case in this regard in Delhi’s Kamla Market police station which was later transferred to Jodhpur.
On August 28, a Supreme Court bench comprising Justices N V Ramanna and Amitava Roy questioned the delay in the trial of the rape case involving the godman and asked the state government as to why the victim had not been examined.
Asaram Bapu has been making news in the past times for a lot of reasons, definitely not the good ones. The self-proclaimed God man Asaram has been a centre of controversies for a big time.
Our very own PM Narendra Modi never lags in making the news as well but yes, for really different reasons. Not a single day passes now when you don’t get an update from him. Now wonder what the combination of these two would be?
A very old video emerged on social media which shows PM Modi in a Samagam of Asaram Bapu where he could be seen reciting verses with him.