A special court in Jodhpur, india has sentenced “Asaram” a religious leader and the founder of “Shree Yog Vedanta Sewa Samiti” to life imprisonment for the rape of a 16-year-old girl. The case dates back to 2013 when a 16-year-old girl had accused Asaram of rape on the intervening night of August 15 and 16 at his ashram in Jodhpur.
The verdict was announced by Judge Madhu Sudan Sharma in Jodhpur. Asaram was charged for raping a 16-year-old girl in August 2013.
Asaram was arrested in 2013 and has been in jail ever since.
According to reports, Asaram broke down after hearing the quantum of punishment.
Asaram was accused of trafficking, rape. He has been booked under the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) which could entail stringent punishment.
The father of the teenager who was raped by Asaram had earlier demanded stringent punishment for the self-proclaimed godman.
“The court has given us justice in this case. He should be given a stringent punishment,” the victim’s father said.
The victim’s father also added that the family has suffered a lot in the past five years. “We have suffered a lot and now we hope to get complete justice in this case,” he said.
Meanwhile, Asaram’s spokesperson Neelam Dubey said that they “respect the court’s order”.
Asaram is also an accused in a double rape case in Surat. Asaram’s son Narayan Sai, also a self-styled ‘saint’, is accused in the case as well.
Asaram and Narayan are alleged to have raped and illegally confined two sisters. The elder sister accused Asaram of repeatedly sexual assaulting her between 2001 and 2006. The trial in those rape cases is on in Gujarat.