Asaram Bapu convicted of raping minor girl

Asaram Bapu Asaram bapu rape case verdict Rajasthan

After spending nearly 5 years in jail, Asaram will now have to give up his Rs 10,000 crore empire and spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Five charges had been levelled against Asaram Bapu. Asaram is accused of trafficking, wrongful confinement, criminal intimidation, rape and criminal conspiracy.

The 77-year-old leads more than 400 ashrams in India and around the world.

The quantum of punishment is likely to be pronounced later in the day.

He is also on trial in another rape case in western Gujarat state.

Asaram Bapu was arrested in 2013 on the complaint filed by a teenage girl from Uttar Pradesh's Shahajahanpur.

"My daughter is happy today", said the father of the rape survivor who was 16 when she was raped in Asaram's ashram near Jodhpur, while her parents waited outside. His lawyers had argued for a shorter sentence, contending that the girl was 18 years old when the sexual assault took place.

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The other two accused Shilpi and Sharad have been sentenced to 20 years each in jail. Apart from rape, he was also facing charges of murder, black magic, to name a few.

"The scrutiny of documents recovered during the raid has established that wealth of Asaram's ashrams in the form of bank accounts and other investments including shares, debentures and government bonds (excluding land) is valued at Rs 9,000-Rs 10,000 crore", Asthana told reporters in 2014.

As a precautionary measure, Jodhpur police imposed Section 144 of CrPC which prevents the unlawful gathering of four or more people.

Several Indian states were put on high alert and thousands of extra police deployed ahead of Asaram's trial with authorities fearing riots if "Babuji" was found guilty.

The Opposition Congress had said after the verdict that people would be able to differentiate between fraud and actual saints.

"We've full respect in our judicial system", said the spokeswoman, Neelam Dubey, adding that the judgment would not affect the activities of followers at their ashram. Thanks to colleagues, seniors and all members of the team whose support meant a lot for me in the entire phase of this case. He hoped that maximum punishment is given to him. We have confidence in our judiciary.

The top cop who led the investigation in the 2013 rape case against Asaram said that if the law of land is implemented impartially, even the weakest can take on the might of an influential person like Asaram.

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