A GUJARAT court on Monday convicted self-proclaimed godman Asaram Bapu in a decade-old sexual assault case. He was accused of repeatedly raping a Surat-based woman while he was at his ashram located in Ahmedabad’s Motera around ten years ago. Asaram has been convicted by the Gandhinagar Sessions Court, and it will pronounce the punishment in the case on Tuesday.
The Self-Styled Godman
Asaram was born in 1941 in Asumal Sirumalani, Sindh (now Pakistan).The Quint, quoting his biography, reports that he left home multiple times between ages 15 and 23 to spend time at different ashrams in search of spirituality.
Asaram is married to Laxmi Devi, with whom he has a daughter, Bharati Devi, and a son, Narayan Sai. In 1972, he built a hit in Gujarat’s Motera village, located on the banks of the Sabarmati. However, he converted it into an ashram, starting with just five to ten followers. His ashrams have over 40 gurukuls, or residential schools, to teach children.
Cases against Asaram Bapu
There are a series of cases against Asaram Bapu that span from rape to alleged threats to fake documents.
Asaram is facing charges in two different sexual assault cases. According to a 1300 page charge sheet by Rajasthan police, Asaram is accused of sexual assault, rape, and illegally confining a minor. In another rape case in Gujarat, he was convicted by the Gandhinagar Sessions court on Monday for raping a woman from Surat 10 years ago when she was staying in his ashram in Ahmedabad’s Motera. The women had filed a case of sexual assault against Asaram a decade ago.
He is also accused of allegedly threatening to kill the station house officer of Udaimandir police station on Whatsapp, along with three of his followers and his personal caretaker.
In another case of fake documents, Jodhpur Police also registered a case against Asaram and others in February 2017 for filing fake documents in the Supreme Court as support for his interim bail plea.
Asaram is also facing charges of murder and attacks, among others.