Asaram rape case: Self-styled godman sentenced to lifetime imprisonment

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Jodhpur: A Special Court on Wednesday found self-styled godman Asaram guilty of raping a 16-year-old girl at his ashram near Jodhpur in Rajasthan in 2013 and sentenced him to a jail term for life until his death.

"When I came to know what had happened to my daughter, it was shattering for me". On 7 August, warden called at her home and told her parents about victims condition.

In her complaint to the police, the minor said she was sexually assaulted and threatened by the godman when she was alone with him.

Before molesting her, he inquired if her parents had left.

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The court, however, acquitted Asaram's "sevadar" Shiva and cook Prakash. Last week, men accused in a January gang-rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl had their first hearing in court. "There has been political connivance and patronage". Key witnesses (former volunteers of the cult) have alleged that both father and son were into occult practices.

Former Deputy Inspector General of Gujarat Police D.G. Vanzara, who was accused of fake shootouts in the past, stepped into controversy by saying that it is "improper to dub Asaram as a rapist". More than four key witnesses were allegedly murdered by Asaram's followers, while a former aide-turned-witness, Rahul Sachan, is still missing almost two years after an earlier stabbing attempt. The police said during his questioning, Kartik Haldar had even admitted to trying to buy an AK-47.

On Wednesday, the survivor and her family did not attend the proceedings and their residence was secured.

The judge Madhusudan has pronounced the judgement on Asaram inside the courtroom of Jodhpur Central Jail.

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The Special court set up under the Scheduled Caste and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in Jodhpur will deliver its verdict today in the rape case involving godman Asaram Bapu as the accused. He would reportedly repackage them under his own brand and sell them to those who came for the satsangs.

Security was tight around the prison complex and in states where the guru has a large following. The case was handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Security has been beefed up in the city by keeping in mind the verdict of the case.

Asaram unsuccessfully moved 12 bail applications, of which six were rejected by the trial court, three by the Rajasthan High Court and three by the Supreme Court. A case was filed against Asaram under the charges that he had gang-raped a girl who was studying in one of his ashrams as Chindwara, Madhya Pradesh.

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