Soon after a court in Jodhpur sentenced Asaram Bapu to life in jail for the rape of a 16-year-old girl in 2013, the victim’s father said he was “satisfied” with the verdict given that “fighting the case almost changed our lives”. Speaking from Shahjahanpur where he lives with his family, the victim’s father said he did not dare visit Jodhpur because he feared he would be attacked by Asaram’s followers.
“I am satisfied with the judgment because it has done justice to my struggle of four years, seven months and 23 days. During this period, fighting the case almost changed our lives. There was a lot of pressure not to pursue the case. We were regularly harassed by associates of Asaram. I made several complaints to the police and lodged an FIR. My family, including my daughter, is satisfied with the judgment Wednesday. She is now in college,” he said.
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“My business, my family suffered the most while fighting the case. There was monetary loss. The case ruined the future of my children because they had to cut off themselves from others. I wanted to go to Jodhpur to hear the verdict but fearing a law and order problem and attacks by followers of Asaram, I changed my mind.” The family sat before a television to learn of the verdict. “I will continue my fight against Asaram and ensure he serves his sentence in jail. I will not let Asaram get any relief from a higher court,” the father said.
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Since Tuesday, there was heavy police bandobast in the area where they live. Shahjahanpur District Magistrate Amrit Tripathi said police bound down several persons as a precautionary measure. Additional Superintendent of Police, City (Shahjahanpur), Dinesh Tripathi said seven constables have been assigned for the security of the victim’s family.