NEW DELHI : Self-styled godman Asaram was on Wednesday sentenced to life-long jail term by a special SC/ST court in Jodhpur for raping a minor nearly five years ago. The godman’s two other accomplices, Sharad and Shilpi, were sentenced to 20 years each in jail in the case, while remaining two co-accused Shiva and Prakash were acquitted. Additional Sessions judge Madhusudan Sharma, heading the special SC/ST court sentenced the trio after convicting them of various offences under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act (POCSO), in a proceeding held in a specially-convened court inside Jodhpur Central Jail premises. The self-styled godman is lodged in the Jodhpur Central Jail for the past over four years.Here are the latest updates and developments from the Asaram rape case verdict today:
Asaram to be in prison till natural death
“Asaram was given life-long jail term, while his accomplices Sharad and Shilpi were sentenced to 20 years in jail by the court,” Public Prosecutor Pokar Ram Bishnoi told reporters here, soon after the court pronounced its judgement on quantum of sentences to the three convicts. Asaram would be in prison till his natural death, said Bishnoi, adding the court also imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on him. “We argued that Asaram is not a saint, but a sinner. He called the victim from the hostel under a conspiracy and raped her. Accordingly, we demanded maximum punishment for him. Sharad and Shilpi too were part of the conspiracy,” he said. (PTI)
Asaram verdict: Reactions hailing the verdict pour in
Politicians and activists welcomed the Jodhpur court’s verdict today in the Asaram rape case.“I welcome the judgement. In this case the witnesses were attacked, one was killed. The victim and her father were threatened, they were forced to leave their home. They were displaced. But today their fight for justice has been vindicated. What is worse is that this godman used the ‘bhakti’ of these followers to abuse their believes,” said CPI (M) Politburo member Brinda Karat.The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights said despite the child being a minor, the new ordinance that allows courts to invoke the death penalty in such cases will not be applicable in this case. “We welcome this judgement, more so because the perpetrator of this crime is a very powerful person who held a position of trust, the devotees go to these godmen when they are in trouble and the guru must protect them and not sexually assault them. The ordinance will have a prospective effet not a retrospective effect,” said NCPCR Chairperson Stuti Kacker.
Jodhpur court gives life sentence to Asaram
Jodhpur court awards life imprisonment to self-styled godman Asaram for raping a minor, PTI reports.
Security beefed up in Ahmedabad, Surat
The Gujarat police has stepped up security outside two of the prominent ashrams of self-styled godman Asaram in the state, as a court in Rajasthan convicted him in a rape case today. Asaram was convicted by a court in Jodhpur for raping a teenager at his ashram in Rajasthan in 2013. Over 50 policemen, led by a deputy commissioner of police, were deployed outside Asaram’s ashram in Motera area of Ahmedabad city, DCP H. R. Muliana said. Around 100 policemen as well as personnel from the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) were deployed at various places in Chandkheda area to keep an eye on followers coming to the ashram, he said. Since Sabarmati area is also close to the ashram, around 40 policemen were maintaining vigil at strategic locations and on connecting roads, the official said. (PTI)
Asaram accused of raping teenage girl in his ashram
Asaram is accused of raping a teenage girl from Shahajahanpur in Uttar Pradesh, who was studying at the godman’s ashram at Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh. The victim had alleged that Asaram called her to his ashram in Manai area near Jodhpur and raped her on the night of 15 August, 2013. Asaram has denied the rape charges. Asaram was arrested in Indore and brought to Jodhpur on 1 September, 2013. He is under judicial custody since 2 September, 2013.
Time to differentiate between actual saints and frauds, says Congress’ Ashok Gehlot
The time has come when people should be able to differentiate between the actual saints and the frauds, as this creates a bad image of the country in the international arena: Ashok Gehlot, Congress on #Asaram convicted in rape case pic.twitter.com/rTFZW3WgdT— ANI (@ANI) April 25, 2018
Will discuss verdict with legal team: Asaram’s spokesperson
A spokesperson of the controversial godman Asaram said on Wednesday said their team will discuss the Jodhpur court’s verdict with their legal team and them decide on next course of action.“We will discuss with our legal team and then decide our future course of action. We have confidence in our judiciary,” ANI quoted Neelam Dubey as saying.
Asaram rape case: We have got justice, says father of Shahjahanpur victim
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. I also hope the witnesses who were murdered or kidnapped get justice: Father of Shahjahanpur victim #AsaramCaseVerdict pic.twitter.com/sUJ3atJJJY— ANI (@ANI) April 25, 2018
Asaram, other accused convicted in rape case
Self-styled godman Asaram has been convicted by a Jodhpur court in rape case of a teenager, PTI reports.
Proceedings underway in Jodhpur jail in Asaram rape case
Proceedings are underway in the Jodhpur Central Jail premises where a trial court judge is set to pronounce today its verdict in the rape case of a teenager by self-styled godman Asaram. Special Judge SC/ST Court Madhusudhan Sharma is in the jail premises to deliver the verdict. A tight security cordon has been thrown around the jail in Jodhpur where prohibitory orders have already been clamped.
Asaram’s witness killing: Security provided to deceased’s family
Security has been provided to the family of Akhil Gupta, a witness in the rape case against Asaram in Surat, who was shot dead in January 2015, ahead of the godman’s verdict in Jodhpur today, police said. “Security has been provided to the wife and father of Gupta,” SP (city) Ombir Singh said. He was returning home from his shop on a scooter when the two motorcycle-borne assailant shot at him on 11 Januray, 2015. Gupta was a cook and personal aide of Asaram, who is in jail since September 2013 in connection with another case of sexual assault on a minor girl in Jodhpur. Meanwhile, the deceased’s father Naresh Gupta said, “ I am confident that justice will be given to the victim today in Jodhpur case.” Two sisters in Surat had accused Asaram and his son Narayan Sai of raping them. Gupta was a witness in the rape case against Asaram and had recorded his statement before a Gandhinagar court. (PTI)
Tight security in place ahead of the Asaram rape case verdict
A tight security cordon has been thrown around the jail in Jodhpur where prohibitory orders have already been clamped. The Centre too has advised the three states of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh to put in place additional security measures ahead of the verdict.Jodhpur city police have imposed section 144 since 21 April and it would remain effective till 30 April.“We have imposed section 144 of CrPC in Jodhpur from 21 April and it would remain effective till 30 April. Besides this, we have been keeping a sharp eye on Asaram’s ashrams and checking all hotels and guest houses as well as the bus and railway stations,” DCP (East) Aman Deep Singh said in Jodhpur. “We will also seal the jail on the day of judgment and would not allow anyone to get close to the jail premises,” he said.
Confident that Asaram will be convicted, says key witness
Trust judicary and am confident that Asaram will be convicted. I request judiciary that such rapists should be hanged. Though I have security, I request Centre for additional security, my life like other witnesses is constantly under threat: Mahendra Chawla #AsaramCaseVerdict pic.twitter.com/mhdBOxLO25— ANI (@ANI) April 25, 2018
Asaram faces another rape case in Surat
Asaram is also facing a rape case in Surat in Gujarat in which the Supreme Court earlier this month gave five weeks time to the prosecution to complete the trial. (PTI)
Courts rejected Asaram’s bail pleas 12 times in rape case
Asaram unsuccessfully moved 12 bail applications in the teenage rape case, of which six were rejected by the trial court, three by the Rajasthan high court and three by the Supreme Court. (PTI)
Asaram’s supporter detained ahead of rape case verdict
A supporter of Asaram was detained today outside the Central Jail in Jodhpur where prohibitory orders have been clamped in view of a trial court verdict in the rape case against the self-styled godman. Asaram’s supporter reached near the jail and tried to put a garland on his poster, but the policemen nabbed him. The poster was put on a wall of a corridor outside the jail boundary where the family members of prisoners wait. The supporter managed to reach there despite high-security arrangements. Both the roads towards the Central jail where Asaram is lodged have been sealed and only mediapersons are allowed outside the jail. (PTI)
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