Indian Court Sentences Guru Man For Life Over Raping a Minor

Asaram and 2 aides convicted; 2 other co-accused acquitted

Asaram Bapu sentenced to life in rape case

"It goes on to show that even if you are a "godman", if you commit a crime, our judiciary will get you", Thakur said.

The teen's parents had been followers of the guru; they brought her to one of his ashrams to receive spiritual instruction - but instead, he forced her into sex acts, a court in Jodhpur, in the western state of Rajasthan, said on Wednesday.

Local Police Commissioner Ashok Rathore stated that the judgment of the case was pronounced in Jodhpur Central Jail surrounded by high security in Rajasthan. "His two aides, Sanchita and Sharad, have been given a sentence of 20 years each while two other accused, Prakash and Shiva, have been acquitted". Video clips showing some of the tallest politicians in the country endorsing Asaram did the rounds - unfairly, some pointed out, as the footage predated the rape and the conviction - after the verdict. These were wrongful confinement, criminal intimidation, criminal conspiracy and sexual harassment.

Asaram's sentencing comes on the back of a series of particularly brutal rape cases in India, including two alleged unrelated attacks on girls aged 16 and 8. He was under judicial custody since September 2, 2013.

The 2005-batch IPS officer, now posted as SP, Anti Corruption Bureau, in Jodhpur, also thanked members of his team members associated with the probe.

The 77-year-old, known to his followers as Asaram Bapu or simply Bapuji (Bapu means father in Hindi), has 230 ashrams across India, the United Kingdom, the US, Kenya, Uganda, and Canada.

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The arrest of Asaram in 2013 prompted violent clashes between his supporters and police in several major cities. The trial court neglected 6 applications, while Rajasthan high Court 3 and Supreme Court refused the other 3.

From the high pedestal of a preacher having thousands of followers, self-styled godman Asaram's fall from grace came after he was embroiled in the rape case of a minor girl.

Asaram's personal assistant was shot and killed in 2014 and in 2015 another associate of his was killed in Muzaffarnagar.

Outside the ashram of self-styled godman Asaram at Motera on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, the usual buzz was missing on Wednesday.

With so many charges against him, it was obvious he would not walk away freely from this and hence this final verdict is welcome. "He taught us to live our lives in this very society, to do good deeds and make people understand what he is", Jyoti said, adding her fight to ensure Asaram's release from jail would never end.

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