Asaram Bapu found guilty of rape

Asaram Bapu found guilty of rape

The trial court will pronounce the verdict in the courtroom in the Jodhpur Central Jail premises where 77-year-old Asaram is now lodged. The minimum punishment that he faces under the charges on which he has been convicted is of 10 years.

Now, the Indian government is on alert in case his supporters take to the streets to protest over the verdict, as had happened when another charismatic guru, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, was convicted of rape previous year.

Asaram Bapu got convicted for rape charges today by the Jodhpur Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribe Court. Jodhpur police also said that they will impose Section 144 till April 30, in a bid to prevent any untoward incident before the self-styled godman Asaram Bapu's rape case verdict on April 25. Security has also been boosted in Gujarat and Haryana which have large numbers of Asaram followers.

Just over a week after her death, Asaram landed himself in controversy when he accused Singh of being partially responsible for the assault.

The victim had alleged that Asaram had called her to his ashram near Jodhpur, and raped her on the night of August 15, 2013. The High Court's decision came after Rajasthan Police filed a petition stating that the state may witness a Panchkula-like situation, where Ram Rahim's followers created massive ruckus during his trial, if he is produced in court. This irked Asaram and he suddenly appeared at Bhopal airport in the afternoon of August 31, 2013.

On August 29, Asaram Bapu indirectly alleged that he was being targeted by the then Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul.

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Asaram was found guilty of sexually assaulting a then 16-year-old follower during a religious ceremony meant to cure her of evil spirits, held at his ashram in Manai village near Jodhpur, on August 15, 2013.

Asaram Bapu was arrested in 2013 on the complaint filed by a teenage girl from Uttar Pradesh's Shahajahanpur.

The controversial godman has also been found guilty under some sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. The proceedings took place at a makeshift court in Jodhpur jail.

28 February 2014: The husband of one of the rape survivors in the Surat case was brutally stabbed in a hospital compound by an unknown assailant. Altogether, nine witnesses in the two cases against Asaram were attacked, three of them died.

13 February 2015: A witness in Jodhpur case, Rahul K Sachan, stabbed outside the local court. Chawla was attacked in 2015 by two unidentified men who entered his house, opened fire and also physically hit him.

March 2016: Kartik Haldar, a henchman of Asaram, arrested by Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) from Raipur in Chhattisgarh. For this, a special court was prepared in the jail. He's applied for bail at least on seven occasions with court rejecting all his pleas.