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Seven Asaram followers found guilty of rioting in 2008 case

Followers of self-styled godman Asaram Bapu, who now stands convicted on rape charges, had attacked a group of journalists, who were outside his ashram in Motera, covering a bandh called in protest against the death of two minor boys who were students at the ashram’s gurukul.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad |
August 14, 2021 6:05:17 pm
ASaram bapu, gandhinagar, Asaram, asaram followers, attacks on journalists, Gujarat news, indian express news, indian expressAround 12 journalists were attacked by Asaram's followers. (File)

More than 12 years since journalists were attacked by followers of rape convict Asaram Bapu, a Gandhinagar magisterial court on Friday convicted seven persons to one year of imprisonment after the court found them guilty for rioting and causing injury.

In July 2008, followers of self-styled godman Asaram Bapu, who now stands convicted on rape charges, attacked a group of journalists with sticks, who were outside his ashram in Motera, covering a bandh called in protest against the death of two minor boys who were students at the ashram’s gurukul. The attack had taken place on the day of observance of ‘gurupurnima’.

In the verdict pronounced by the additional chief judicial magistrate PK Gadhvi on Friday, a detailed order of which is awaited, seven persons were found guilty under IPC sections 147 (punishment for rioting), 149 (Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), and 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt). A total of five criminal complaint applications by the prosecution — state of Gujarat — were before the magistrate’s court.

According to a lawyer dealing with the five cases, all accused in four of the applications were acquitted of the charges while in the fifth case, of the 19 accused, seven were convicted and 12 others acquitted of the charges. The seven accused who were convicted were also granted bail by the magisterial court.

“The mob involved more than 50-60 people. The acquittal of the accused was primarily on the ground that it could not be determined if they were at the site of the offence or not. Even if the presence of some of the accused could be determined at the location of offence, it could not be determined from the evidence or prosecution witnesses if they were involved in the commission of offence,” said the lawyer.

The state government was represented by public prosecutor Urjit Patel while the accused were represented by advocate BM Gupta.

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