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Asaram Bapu sentenced to life in rape case

26 April, 2018, 00:43 | Author: Ted Wilson
  • Asaram Bapu sentenced to life in rape case

An Indian spiritual guru with millions of followers was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday for rape of a teenage devotee, his lawyer said.

Almost five years after rape charges were levelled against self-styled godman, Asaram Bapu, the Jodhpur Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribe Court is about to pronounce its verdict in a short while from now. The special court for SC/ST cases convicted two other accused, Shilpi and Sharad, and acquitted two, Prakash and Shiva.

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.

The case is the latest in a series of high-profile rape cases in India that have fuelled public protests and raised questions about how police handle the cases and treat the victims. Many of them also amass support due to their social welfare activities - notably setting up schools and hospitals that outperform poorly funded government institutions.

The victim's father, who can not be named to protect his daughter's identity, told the ANI news agency that he was pleased with the verdict.

Asaram's sentencing is also a warning to those who use their powerful positions to harass and intimidate others. "I also hope the witnesses who were murdered or kidnapped get justice too", the father told reporters here after the Jodhpur court announced the verdict.

"I want to thank everyone who supported us in this fight".

USA federal judge says DACA must resume after 90 days
He continued with his strong stand on the issue and his administration started deporting undocumented immigrants from the US. A federal appeals court also questioned the validity of the program when President Obama tried to expand DACA in 2014.

According to media reports, Asaram had said that the Delhi gang-rape victim was equally responsible for the fatal attack on her. "What it says is that he tried to touch her improperly", said Vanzara.

Vanzara even wondered if Asaram had really "touched" the victim and said the case was a conspiracy as the 77-year-old godman was a "protector of the Sanatan Hindu dharma".

Asumal Harpalani was born in April 1941 in a village called Bernai in Sindh region in present-day Pakistan. He carted pilgrims on his pony cart from the railway station to the dargah.

The self-styled godman runs 400 ashrams across the country. He was earlier denied bail by the Supreme Court.

Asaram has also courted controversy in recent years with his outspoken - and debatable views - on issues such as Valentine's Day and the Nirbhaya killing.

The guru's fortunes may not have hit their nadir, though.

As self-styled godman Asaram was on Wednesday sentenced for life for raping a minor girl, the Congress party posted a video on Twitter, showing him with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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