Asaram Bapu gets life term in minor rape case
Jodhpur (Rajasthan) [India], Apr. 25 : Self-styled godman Asaram Bapu was sentenced to life imprisonment in a 2013 rape case by Jodhpur Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Court, on Wednesday. The controversial godman has been found guilty of raping a minor girl in Manai village near Jodhpur on August 15, 2013. The court has also sentenced the two other co-accused Shilpi and Sharad to 20 years each in jail in regard to the same case. He has been found guilty under various charges, including sections 370(4) (trafficking), 342 (wrongful confinement), 354A (outraging modesty, 376 (rape), 506 (criminal intimidation), 109, 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code. The controversial godman has also been found guilty under some sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. He is currently lodged in Jodhpur Central jail. In the case, out of the five accused, including Asaram, two have been acquitted of all charges. Asaram's spokesperson Neelam Dubey said they will talk to their legal team and decide the future course of action. "We will discuss with our legal team and then decide our future course of action. We have confidence in our judiciary," Dubey said. Earlier in the day, people were seen offering prayers at the godman's ashram in Madhya Pradesh's Bhopal, Uttar Pradesh's Varanasi, Gujarat's Ahmedabad and Punjab's Ludhiana for his acquittal. A follower of Asaram even reached the jail with a garland in the morning. He, however, was detained by police. The judgment in the case was pronounced inside the Jodhpur Central Jail, keeping in view the law and order situation in Rajasthan and neighbouring states. Asaram is also facing a trial in Gujarat for raping two Surat-based sisters. His son, Narayan Sai, is also an accused in the case.
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