Self-styled godman Asaram Bapu was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday by a Jodhpur court which found him guilty of raping a 16-year-old girl in one of his ashrams five years ago. Below are the other pending cases against Asaram
Rape of Surat sisters
Two sisters of Surat lodged two separate FIRs against Asaram and his son Narayan Sai in 2013 accusing the father-son duo of raping them. While the elder sister accused Asaram of raping her, the younger lodged an FIR against Narayan Sai, against whom trial is currently going on in Surat sessions court. Gujarat Police, in January 2014, chargesheeted Asaram, his wife Lakshmi, daughter Bharti and his four followers for “conspiracy, illegal confinement and rape” of the elder Surat sister. The in-camera trial at Gandhinagar sessions court is underway. Nearly 30 witnesses have deposed.
Attempt to murder of disciple
In June 2016, Ahmedabad Crime Branch charged Asaram and two others — Kartik Haldar alias Raju and Dr K D Patel alias Kantilal — in an attempt to murder case. The case pertains to the attempt to murder of Raju Chandak, who was Asaram’s disciple for nearly two decades. According to police, Chandak was shot at on December 6, 2009, by the accused in a pre-planned criminal conspiracy for testifying before Trivedi commission (see below) and speaking to the media against Asaram.
Read | Who is Asaram Bapu?
Ashram scandal: Death of two gurukul students
In July 2008, the Gujarat government constituted a panel under Justice (retired) D K Trivedi to probe into the circumstances under which two minor students of Asaram’s gurukul in Motera ashram were found dead in Sabarmati river after they had gone missing. The issue sparked widespread protests against the ashram with allegations that the two boys had fallen prey to some black magic practitioner from the ashram. The Commission submitted its report to the state government on July 31, 2013. However, the government is yet to table the report before Gujarat Assembly and make the findings of the commission public.
Simultaneously, Gujarat Police had initially registered a case of accidental death, which later was made a case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. Police chargesheeted seven followers of Asaram in September 2012. Since then, the trial has been pending.
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