Asaram verdict reactions LIVE updates: A special SC/ST court in Jodhpur on Wednesday convicted the self-proclaimed godman Asaram Bapu, who is currently lodged in Jodhpur Central Jail, in a sexual assault case against him, according to PTI. Police had made extra security arrangements along with imposing Section 144 (prevents assembly of more than four people) in the Blue city, ahead of the judgment. Keeping in mind the huge following commanded by Asaram, security has also been tightened in Gujarat and Haryana, besides Rajasthan on the orders of Ministry of Home Affairs to avoid law and order problems. Earlier, the Rajasthan High Court had passed an order, directing the trial court to pronounce its judgment inside the Jodhpur Central Jail on a petition filed by Jodhpur police. The case pertains to the alleged rape of a 16-year-old girl from Shahajahanpur of Uttar Pradesh, who in 2013, accused Asaram of sexually assaulting her on the intervening night of August 15 and 16 at his Jodhpur Ashram. A case was lodged against Asaram and four others — Sanchita alias Shilpi, Sharad Chandra alias Sharat Chandra, Prakash and Shiva alias Sava Ram Hethvadiya. Follow Asaram Bapu verdict LIVE | What is Asaram Bapu case?
Highlights: Asaram Bapu has been found guilty of rape; here are all the reaction, news and updates after the verdict was announced by the Jodhpur court
Place named after Godman in MP to be renamed
Following the conviction of Asaram in a rape case, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday said the places named after the godman would be rechristened after an activist's demand. Nobody is above the law, Chouhan said and promised "appropriate action" on activist Rachna Dhingra's demand that two places in Bhopal named after 77-year-old Asaram be renamed.
Nirbhaya's kin welcomes verdict
The kin of the Delhi gang-rape victim Nirbhaya today welcomed the life imprisonment awarded to self-styled godman Asaram in a rape case. Nirbhaya's grandfather said that during the tragedy that struck his granddaughter, Asaram had defended the culprits and instead held the girl responsible for it.
School principal of the victim much relieved, says was threatened to change victim's birth date to help Asaram
The school principal of the victim said he was much relieved with the Jodhpur court pronouncing Asaram guilty of rape.
The teacher, who is also a witness in the case, said he had been facing threats from Asaram's followers to change the child's date of birth to help the godman evade stringent punishment under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
"There was pressure on me to change the date of birth mentioned by the guardian in the form at the time of admission. The disciples wanted me to show the age to be more than it actually was so as to suit them," he said after the verdict.
"But society has a lot of faith in schools and it was my moral duty to live up to it and I fulfilled my responsibility," he added.
Reactions hailing the verdict pour in
Praising the verdict, Congress leader Ashok Gehlot said, "The time has come when people should be able to differentiate between the actual saints and the frauds, as this creates a bad image of the country in the international arena."
"We welcome this judgment, more so because the perpetrator of this crime is a very powerful person who holds a position of trust, the devotees go to these godmen when they are in trouble and the guru must protect them and not sexually assault them. The ordinance will have a prospective effect not a retrospective effect," said the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights Chairperson Stuti Kacker.
Following the verdict, the Victims lawyer Utsav Bains said, "This is a victory for all such victims and a clear message has been sent out to all the perpetrators of such crimes that you cannot escape the wrath of the law. The victim and her father have really been brave and kudos to them."
Asaram not rapist: Former Gujarat top cop D G Vanzara
Retired IPS officer D G Vanzara told the media that there is no rape case against Asaram and the only charge is that he inappropriately touched the victim. Vanzara who visited the Ahmedabad ashram of Asaram said he is a follower of the self-styled godman.
No untoward incident reported: Home Ministry
The Home Ministry on Wednesday said that no untoward incident was reported from anywhere in the country in the wake of the conviction. The ministry is also keeping itself abreast of the prevailing situation, particularly in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana.
We had complete faith in the judiciary: Victim's father
The father of the teenager raped by Asaram expressed satisfaction over the Jodhpur court verdict convicting the self-styled godman and thanked the judiciary and the media for it.
"We had complete faith in the judiciary and are happy that we got justice," he told mediapersons soon after the court verdict," he said.
"For the past four months, our family members had not been coming out (of our house)...it is satisfying that the verdict has gone against him," he added.
Rest of the two accused Shilpi and Sharad sentenced to 20 years each in jail by Jodhpur Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Court in a rape case.
Asaram gets life imprisonment
Asaraam sentenced to life imprisonment by Jodhpur Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Court in a rape case.
Congress tweets a video on PM Modi's relationship with Asaram Bapu
Congress tweeted a video on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's relationship with Asaram Bapu. The party, from its verified Twitter handle, quotes Aesop's fables: 'A man is known by the company he keeps'
— Congress (@INCIndia) April 25, 2018
Retired IPS D G Vanzara denies any rape case against Asaram
Retired IPS officer D G Vanzara arrived at the Ahmedabad ashram of Asaram and met with ashram officials. He told the media that there is no rape case against Asaram and the only charge is that he inappropriately touched the victim. Vanzara said he is a follower of the self-styled godman. Vanzara is also related to the 2004 Ishrat Jahan encounter case. (Express Photo/Javed Raja)
Yashwant Jain, National Commission For Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) said, "This judgment is a lesson to people who think they can get away by committing sexual offences against children. I would like to appreciate the girl and her family for fighting against the culprits. " (ANI photo)
Actor Farhan Akhtar asks people to stop sharing Asaram's images with PM Modi
So, Asaram is a child rapist. And he has been found guilty. Good.
But can people please stop sharing images of him with PM Modi. Patronising him before he was exposed to be a pervert is no crime.
Let’s be fair and give him the benefit of doubt that he, like us, did not know.
— Farhan Akhtar (@FarOutAkhtar) April 25, 2018
The court is yet to set a date for deciding on the quantum of sentence for Asaram. He faces a minimum sentence of ten years in jail and a maximum of life imprisonment under the stringent sections of a law on sexual crimes against children. He has reportedly been found guilty of sexual assault, criminal conspiracy, criminal intimidation and illegal confinement of a minor. He can now appeal against his conviction in a higher court.
People should be able to differentiate between actual saints and frauds: Ashok Gehlot
Reacting to the verdict, Congress' Ashok Gehlot said, "The time has come when people should be able to differentiate between the actual saints and the frauds, as this creates a bad image of the country in the international arena."
Hope Asaram will get strict punishment, says victim's father
Soon after Asaram Bapu's conviction, the father of Shahjahanpur victim said, "Asaram is convicted, we have got justice. I want to thank everyone who supported us in this fight. Now I hope he will get strict punishment. I also hope the witnesses who were murdered or kidnapped get justice." (ANI photo)
Reacting to news about Asaram's conviction, which is still not confirmed by us, Asaram spokesperson Neelam Dubey said, "We will discuss with our legal team and then decide our future course of action. We have confidence in our judiciary." (ANI photo)
Some reports are saying that Asaram Bapu has been convicted in the rape case, but our reporter has not confirmed the same. Follow for latest updates.
Proceedings are underway in the Jodhpur Central Jail premises where a trial court judge Madhusudhan Sharma is set to pronounce the verdict.
'Trust judiciary, confident that Asaram will be convicted'
Mahendra Chawla, the main eyewitness in the Asaram's son Narayan Sai's sexual assault case said, "Trust judiciary and am confident that Asaram will be convicted. I request judiciary that such rapists should be hanged. Though I have security, I request Centre for additional security, my life like other witnesses is constantly under threat. "
Chawla was one of the witnesses who was attacked in 2015 by two unidentified men on a motorcycle. They had entered his house and opened fire, hitting him twice in the back. (ANI photo)
Prayers underway at Asaram's ashram in Bhopal, Varanasi and other places. (ANI photo)
Welcome to our LIVE blog. A Jodhpur Court will soon pronounce its verdict in a sexual assault case against self-proclaimed godman Asaram Bapu. Follow to get the latest updates on how people react to the verdict.