The Gujarat High Court on Monday issued notice to the state government, returnable by July 18, in connection with a criminal appeal by two convict aides of self-styled godman, Narayan Sai who is convicted for rape. He and four others were convicted on charges of rape in April this year.
Sai’s two female devotees and aides — Ganga alias Dharmishta Mishra, a resident of Motera ashram in Ahmedabad, and Jamna alias Bhavna Patel, a resident of Gopalpuri street in Jaipur Rajasthan – who were sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment for being held guilty of conspiracy, moved the Gujarat High Court, appealing for suspension of their sentence. The two are lodged in jail. Ganga was arrested in 2013 while Jamna surrendered in 2014.
A Surat sessions court order of April 30 by additional sessions Judge PS Gadhvi, sentenced Narayan Sai to life imprisonment along with convicting four other aides of Narayan. Of the four, three associates – Ganga, Jamna and Hanuman, a resident of Bihar – were sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment. Another aide, Sai’s driver, Ramesh Malhotra, was sentenced to six months of imprisonment.
In October 2013, a rape case was lodged by a former devotee of Sai with the Surat police. In her statement, the woman mentioned that she feared political, financial and muscle power of Sai and his father Asaram Bapu, due to which she could not muster courage to approach police initially. It was only when a teenaged girl lodged a complaint of rape against Asaram in Rajasthan that the Surat woman and her elder sister, who were raped by Sai and Asaram respectively, filed a complaint