Asaram found guilty of minor's rape, sentenced to life in prison

Special Judge Madhusudan Sharma delivered the verdict in a special makeshift court at the Jodhpur Central Jail where Asaram has been lodged since September 2, 2013.

"Asaram is a demon under the garb of sadhu.We are also feeling relieved after the Jodhpur court verdict", Nirbhayas grandfather said.

Previously on Tuesday, the Centre asked Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana to tighten security and deploy additional forces ahead of the verdict.

The trial of the case had begun in the district and session court on March 19, 2017, which had been shifted to the special court for SC/ST Cases on December 16, 2016. The victim was a resident of Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh and was a student there.

An Indian spiritual guru with millions of followers was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday for raping a teenage devotee in 2013, his lawyer said. "We have confidence in our judiciary", Dubey said.

"We respect the judgment and are not contesting or supporting any action proven in a court of law".

At least nine witnesses in both cases have been attacked over the past five years - three of them have since died.

The guru, who is 77, has 400 ashrams around the world where he teaches meditation and yoga. He formed his first ashram in 1972 on the banks of the Sabarmati river in Motera town of Gujarat.

Surat Police had on October 6, 2013, registered complaints filed by two sisters - one against Asaram and another against his son Narayan Sai - of rape, sexual assault, illegal confinement and other charges. The baba called her in to "purify" her like and who knows how many before her. "I was to mention the date of birth as in the records, they wanted it to be manipulated", the principal said.

In October 2013, the Rajasthan High Court in Jodhpur dismissed the claims, stating various school certificates listed her date of birth as July 4, 1997.

Last August, when another powerful Indian guru, Dr. Saint Gurmeet Singh Ram Rahim Insan, was convicted of raping two women, his enraged followers killed 30 people and injured hundreds of others, destroyed property and set vehicles ablaze in the town of Panchkula.

Officials from Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) responded angrily Wednesday as the main opposition Congress party distributed photos of the prime minister alongside Asaram.

The conviction of Asaram came days after the union government brought in an ordinance providing death to rapists of minors below 12 years of age and speedy trial of rape cases. "The court convicted Asaram and he has been sentenced to imprisonment till death".

  • Leroy Wright