Politics backing saints like Asaram for vote bank? Big debate

28 Apr 2018 06:33 PM

Politics backing saints like Asaram for vote bank? Big debate

Updated 28 Apr 2018 06:33 PM

A Jodhpur court on Wednesday sentenced self-styled godman Asaram to life in prison after finding him guilty of raping a teenage girl in his ashram five years ago, the second case of a powerful spiritual leader being convicted of a sexual offence in less than a year.
Special judge Madhusudan Sharma's verdict, which comes as the debate over sexual violence, particularly the rape of minors, intensifies across the country, was read out in the Jodhpur Central Jail where 77-year-old Asaram has been kept for over four years.
Asaram will be in prison till his natural death, the court pronounced, convicting him under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Juvenile Justice Act. It also imposed of fine of Rs 1 lakh on him.
The godman's lawyers, who pleaded that he was not guilty, said they would appeal against the verdict.
Police had stepped up security around Asaram's ashrams to prevent the kind of violence that was unleashed by followers when another so-called godman, Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim, was convicted of rape last August.

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