JODHPUR: Self-styled godman Asaram was on Wednesday convicted by a court here for raping a teenager at his ashram in 2013. Special Judge (SC/ST court) Madhusudhan Sharma delivered the verdict in the Jodhpur Central jail premises.
The girl from Shahajahanpur in Uttar Pradesh was studying at the godman’s ashram at Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh. The victim had alleged that Asaram called her to his ashram in Manai area near Jodhpur and raped her on the night of August 15, 2013.
The chargesheet against Asaram and four other co-accused Shiva, Shilpi, Sharad and Prakash was filed by the police on November 6, 2013 under various sections of the POSCO Act, Juvenile Justice Act and IPC.
The 77-year-old Asaram was arrested in Indore and brought to Jodhpur on September 1, 2013. He is under judicial custody since September 2, 2013.
How Asaram was nailed
IPS officer Ajay Pal Lamba was in office when a team of Delhi police, along with a minor girl and her father, came to meet him on August 21, 2013. Lamba was then the deputy commissioner of police Jodhpur West. The girl was there to complain against being sexually assaulted allegedly by self-styled guru Asaram.
“At first, I did not believe the family’s version and thought it could be an attempt to defame a big man. Proving me wrong, the girl gave a clear map of Asaram’s ashram at Manai village, around 38-km from Jodhpur, where she was assaulted. How can a person give a map of the room, which is a crime scene, without visiting there? That was the trigger point for our investigation that followed,” recalled Lamba, who is presently posted with the Anti-Corruption Bureau.
“Later we came to know about a Meerut family that had complained about a similar crime by Asaram to the local police. When we went to meet the family we were told it was unwilling to lodge any complaint. That was the second trigger point,” Lamba added.