Asaram rape case verdict LIVE: ‘Godman’ guilty of raping minor, arguments on punishment begin


08:07 IST: Rajasthan, Haryana and Gujarat are all on high alert ahead of the verdict in the Asaram Bapu rape case. Security in Jodhpur, where the verdict will be pronounced, is especially tight with police conducting flag marches in the city last night. Last week, officials also evicted Asaram’s followers from the ‘godman’s’ ashram in Jodhpur. Authorities are especially cautious since a similar rape case verdict last year saw large-scale violence when followers of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Singh ran riot after he was convicted in two cases of sexual assault in Haryana.

08:18 IST: The judge who will deliver the verdict in the Asaram rape case — Madhu Sudan Sharma — has reached the Jodhpur jail where the judgment will be delivered. Right now, we’re not sure what time the verdict will be out.

08:21 IST: Meanwhile, a follower of Asaram, who is reported to have around 400 ashrams across India and the world, was detained by the police outside the Jodhpur jail where the controversial ‘godman’ is lodged and where the rape case verdict will be pronounced. It is not yet clear why the follower was detained.

08:24 IST: BACKGROUND | Asaram was arrested in September 2013, shortly after a 16-year-old girl accused of him sexually assaulting her inside his Jodhpur ashram. He has been in jail ever since with courts rejected a number of his bail pleas. The rape trial itself has seen mysterious killings and attacks on witnesses, incidents that Asaram has distanced himself from.
File photo of Asaram being produced at a Jodhpur court

08:37 IST: FROM THE ARCHIVES | What is Asaram’s story? How did the self-styled godman go from being a spiritual guru to someone facing allegations of violence, fraud, deception, sexual exploitation, land grabbing, illegal deals, bribery and murders? Read our India Today Magazine piece on Asaram’s rags to riches to infamy story.

08:53 IST: Reports coming in from Jodhpur now say that a total of six followers of Asaram Bapu have been detained ahead of the self-styled godman’s rape case verdict. All have been externed from Jodhpur, India Today TV’s correspondent from Jodhpur reports.

09:00 IST: WHAT IS THE ASARAM RAPE CASE? | Asaram is accused of raping a minor girl in Jodhpur’s Manai village in August 2013. Asaram allegedly raped the girl after telling her parents that he would ‘cure’ her of the evil spirits that had ‘possessed’ her. He was arrested in September 2013 and in the five years that Asaram has been in jail and trial against him began, nine witnesses have been attacked, three of whom died. Read our complete timeline of the Asaram rape case here.

09:10 IST: KNOW MORE | 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.
Asaram’s son Naryan Sai. Both of them are accused in a double rape case in Surat (File photo | Getty contributor)

09:17 IST: Special SC/ST judge Madhu Sudan Sharma, who will deliver the verdict in the Asaram rape case, is currently inside the special court that has been set up in the Jodhpur Central Jail, where the ‘godman’ is lodged. The three other accused in the case — Shiv, Sharat and Shilpi — too are at the jail court.

09:24 IST: Yesterday, the Asaram Ashram issued a statement asking followers to maintain peace and desist from violence or anti-social activities. “We have faith in the Indian judicial system… Asaram Bapuji is innocent and will soon be amongst us,” a statement issued by the Ashram read.

09:29 IST: THROWBACK | An apex body of Hindu sadhus, last year, declared Asaram Bapu to be a ‘fake saint’. Asaram was on a list of 14 ‘fake babas’ issued by the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad. Also on the list were Sant Rampal, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, Radhe Maa, and Asaram’s son Narayan Sai. “Such hypocrite babas should be put in jails, also their assets must be probed,” Akhada Parishad National President, Mahant Narendra Giri had said then.
(Clockwise from top left) Asaram Bapu, Swami Aseemanand, Icchadhari Bhimanand, Narayan Sai, Sant Rampal, Radhe Ma, Swami Om and Nirmal Baba are all on the list of 14 ‘fake babas’ (Photos: Agencies/File/Facebook)

09:47 IST: More details have come out regarding the detention of an Asaram supporter from outside the Jodhpur jail earlier today. The supporter was nabbed when he reached near the jail and tried to put a garland on Asaram’s poster, according to a PTI report. Prohibitory orders outside the Jodhpur jail where the judgment in the Asaram rape case will be pronounced.

09:58 IST: The special SC/ST court that is hearing the Asaram rape case has begun proceedings inside the Jodhpur jail. Asaram has been lodged at the prison since 2013 when he was arrested for allegedly raping a minor girl. Security outside the jail is extremely tight and prohibitory orders are in place.

10:01 IST: Visuals from the Johpur jail where Asaram is lodged show exterior walls that have been written upon, presumably by the followers of the controversial ‘godman’. “Bapu jaldi bahar aao (Bapu, come out of jail soon),” reads one of the scribbles on the jail’s walls.

10:04 IST: Ahmedabad, the place where Asaram opened his first ashram, is among the places in the country that are on high alert. Authorities across the country have taken strong steps to prevent a repeat of the violence seen in the aftermath of the rape conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in Haryana. In Ahmedabad, five police teams have been deployed at Asaram’s ashram in Motera.
Visuals of Asaram’s followers praying at his Ahmedabad ashram ahead of the rape case verdict (Twitter/ANI)

10:12 IST: Security has also been increased near the home of the woman who accused Asaram of sexually assaulting her in Jodhpur in 2013. KB Singh, an officer from the Uttar Pradesh Police, has said that they have been providing “full security” to the victim and her family. Security will be increased even more if the need arises, Singh has said.

10:17 IST: Interestingly, one of the top trends on Twitter right now is ‘#CleanChitToBapuji’. The hashtag is trending just below ‘AsaramCaseVerdict’ and ‘AsaramVerdict’ hashtags.

10:25 IST: India Today TV correspondents from Jodhpur are reporting that Asaram has not yet reached the makeshift courtroom inside the Jodhpur jail. Outside, the police are taking no chances with security. Authorities have cleared out the area around the jail and are even using drone cameras to keep a watch on the surroundings.

10:34 IST: Asaram has now reached the makeshift court where a special SC/ST judge will pronounce the verdict in a five-year-old rape case. Asaram is accused of raping a 16-year-old girl in his Jodhpur ashram in August 2013.

10:42 IST: All the accused in the 2013 rape case involving Asaram have been found guilty by a special SC/ST court in Jodhpur.

10:46 IST: The SC/ST court that covicted Asaram in the 2013 rape case will now announce the quantum of punihsment for the self-styled ‘godman’. It is not known if the sentencing will happen today or on a later date.

10:49 IST: The first reaction from Asaram’s ashram in. Neelam Dubey, a spokesperson for Asaram, was quoted by news agency ANI as saying that they will “respect the court order” and will “move ahead within the system”.

11:03 IST: There is some discrepency over the reports of whether all of Asaram’s co-accused too have been found guilty in the 2013 Jodhpur rape case. Reports coming in now say that along with Asaram, Shilpi and Sharat have been convicted. The other two accused — Shiva and Prakash — are believed to have been acquitted in the rape case.

11:05 IST: The father of the girl who was raped by Asaram in 2013 has reacted to the self-styled godman’s conviction. “Asaram is convicted, we have got justice. I want to thank everyone who supported us in this fight. Now I hope he will get strict punishment. I also hope the witnesses who were murdered or kidnapped get justice,” the father of the girl was quoted as saying by news agnecy ANI.

11:09 IST: It has now been confirmed that a total of three people have been convicted in the 2013 Jodhpur rape case. Those convicted include Asaram, Shilpi and Sharat. Asaram’s aide Shiva and cook Prakash have been found not guilty in the case.
A Jodhpur court has convicted Asaram of raping a minor in 2014 (India Today file photo)

11:23 IST: The special SC/ST court that convicted Asaram in the 2013 rape case is now hearing arguments on the quantum of punishment. It is not known yet whether the court will announce the sentence today or whether it will reserve judgment on the punishment until a later date.

11:35 IST: Ashok Gehlot, who was the Rajasthan chief minister when the Jodhpur rape case involving Asaram first surfaced, has reacted to the ‘godman’s’ conviction, saying people should stay away from the “dhongi baba (fake godmen)”. “Blind faith is not good… People should respect the real godmen and stay away from such fake godmen,” Gehlot said while asking Asram’s followers to maintain peace.

11:37 IST: Ashok Gehlot, who was the Rajasthan chief minister when the Jodhpur rape case involving Asaram first surfaced, has reacted to the ‘godman’s’ conviction, saying people should stay away from the “dhongi baba (fake godmen)”. “Blind faith is not good… People should respect the real godmen and stay away from such fake godmen,” Gehlot said while asking Asram’s followers to maintain peace.

08:07 IST: Rajasthan, Haryana and Gujarat are all on high alert ahead of the verdict in the Asaram Bapu rape case. Security in Jodhpur, where the verdict will be pronounced, is especially tight with police conducting flag marches in the city last night. Last week, officials also evicted Asaram’s followers from the ‘godman’s’ ashram in Jodhpur. Authorities are especially cautious since a similar rape case verdict last year saw large-scale violence when followers of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Singh ran riot after he was convicted in two cases of sexual assault in Haryana.

08:18 IST: The judge who will deliver the verdict in the Asaram rape case — Madhu Sudan Sharma — has reached the Jodhpur jail where the judgment will be delivered. Right now, we’re not sure what time the verdict will be out.

08:21 IST: Meanwhile, a follower of Asaram, who is reported to have around 400 ashrams across India and the world, was detained by the police outside the Jodhpur jail where the controversial ‘godman’ is lodged and where the rape case verdict will be pronounced. It is not yet clear why the follower was detained.

08:24 IST: BACKGROUND | Asaram was arrested in September 2013, shortly after a 16-year-old girl accused of him sexually assaulting her inside his Jodhpur ashram. He has been in jail ever since with courts rejected a number of his bail pleas. The rape trial itself has seen mysterious killings and attacks on witnesses, incidents that Asaram has distanced himself from.
File photo of Asaram being produced at a Jodhpur court

08:37 IST: FROM THE ARCHIVES | What is Asaram’s story? How did the self-styled godman go from being a spiritual guru to someone facing allegations of violence, fraud, deception, sexual exploitation, land grabbing, illegal deals, bribery and murders? Read our India Today Magazine piece on Asaram’s rags to riches to infamy story.

08:53 IST: Reports coming in from Jodhpur now say that a total of six followers of Asaram Bapu have been detained ahead of the self-styled godman’s rape case verdict. All have been externed from Jodhpur, India Today TV’s correspondent from Jodhpur reports.

09:00 IST: WHAT IS THE ASARAM RAPE CASE? | Asaram is accused of raping a minor girl in Jodhpur’s Manai village in August 2013. Asaram allegedly raped the girl after telling her parents that he would ‘cure’ her of the evil spirits that had ‘possessed’ her. He was arrested in September 2013 and in the five years that Asaram has been in jail and trial against him began, nine witnesses have been attacked, three of whom died. Read our complete timeline of the Asaram rape case here.

09:10 IST: KNOW MORE | 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.
Asaram’s son Naryan Sai. Both of them are accused in a double rape case in Surat (File photo | Getty contributor)

09:17 IST: Special SC/ST judge Madhu Sudan Sharma, who will deliver the verdict in the Asaram rape case, is currently inside the special court that has been set up in the Jodhpur Central Jail, where the ‘godman’ is lodged. The three other accused in the case — Shiv, Sharat and Shilpi — too are at the jail court.

09:24 IST: Yesterday, the Asaram Ashram issued a statement asking followers to maintain peace and desist from violence or anti-social activities. “We have faith in the Indian judicial system… Asaram Bapuji is innocent and will soon be amongst us,” a statement issued by the Ashram read.

09:29 IST: THROWBACK | An apex body of Hindu sadhus, last year, declared Asaram Bapu to be a ‘fake saint’. Asaram was on a list of 14 ‘fake babas’ issued by the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad. Also on the list were Sant Rampal, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, Radhe Maa, and Asaram’s son Narayan Sai. “Such hypocrite babas should be put in jails, also their assets must be probed,” Akhada Parishad National President, Mahant Narendra Giri had said then.
(Clockwise from top left) Asaram Bapu, Swami Aseemanand, Icchadhari Bhimanand, Narayan Sai, Sant Rampal, Radhe Ma, Swami Om and Nirmal Baba are all on the list of 14 ‘fake babas’ (Photos: Agencies/File/Facebook)

09:47 IST: More details have come out regarding the detention of an Asaram supporter from outside the Jodhpur jail earlier today. The supporter was nabbed when he reached near the jail and tried to put a garland on Asaram’s poster, according to a PTI report. Prohibitory orders outside the Jodhpur jail where the judgment in the Asaram rape case will be pronounced.

09:58 IST: The special SC/ST court that is hearing the Asaram rape case has begun proceedings inside the Jodhpur jail. Asaram has been lodged at the prison since 2013 when he was arrested for allegedly raping a minor girl. Security outside the jail is extremely tight and prohibitory orders are in place.

10:01 IST: Visuals from the Johpur jail where Asaram is lodged show exterior walls that have been written upon, presumably by the followers of the controversial ‘godman’. “Bapu jaldi bahar aao (Bapu, come out of jail soon),” reads one of the scribbles on the jail’s walls.

10:04 IST: Ahmedabad, the place where Asaram opened his first ashram, is among the places in the country that are on high alert. Authorities across the country have taken strong steps to prevent a repeat of the violence seen in the aftermath of the rape conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in Haryana. In Ahmedabad, five police teams have been deployed at Asaram’s ashram in Motera.
Visuals of Asaram’s followers praying at his Ahmedabad ashram ahead of the rape case verdict (Twitter/ANI)

10:12 IST: Security has also been increased near the home of the woman who accused Asaram of sexually assaulting her in Jodhpur in 2013. KB Singh, an officer from the Uttar Pradesh Police, has said that they have been providing “full security” to the victim and her family. Security will be increased even more if the need arises, Singh has said.

10:17 IST: Interestingly, one of the top trends on Twitter right now is ‘#CleanChitToBapuji’. The hashtag is trending just below ‘AsaramCaseVerdict’ and ‘AsaramVerdict’ hashtags.

10:25 IST: India Today TV correspondents from Jodhpur are reporting that Asaram has not yet reached the makeshift courtroom inside the Jodhpur jail. Outside, the police are taking no chances with security. Authorities have cleared out the area around the jail and are even using drone cameras to keep a watch on the surroundings.

10:34 IST: Asaram has now reached the makeshift court where a special SC/ST judge will pronounce the verdict in a five-year-old rape case. Asaram is accused of raping a 16-year-old girl in his Jodhpur ashram in August 2013.

10:42 IST: All the accused in the 2013 rape case involving Asaram have been found guilty by a special SC/ST court in Jodhpur.

10:46 IST: The SC/ST court that covicted Asaram in the 2013 rape case will now announce the quantum of punihsment for the self-styled ‘godman’. It is not known if the sentencing will happen today or on a later date.

10:49 IST: The first reaction from Asaram’s ashram in. Neelam Dubey, a spokesperson for Asaram, was quoted by news agency ANI as saying that they will “respect the court order” and will “move ahead within the system”.

11:03 IST: There is some discrepency over the reports of whether all of Asaram’s co-accused too have been found guilty in the 2013 Jodhpur rape case. Reports coming in now say that along with Asaram, Shilpi and Sharat have been convicted. The other two accused — Shiva and Prakash — are believed to have been acquitted in the rape case.

11:05 IST: The father of the girl who was raped by Asaram in 2013 has reacted to the self-styled godman’s conviction. “Asaram is convicted, we have got justice. I want to thank everyone who supported us in this fight. Now I hope he will get strict punishment. I also hope the witnesses who were murdered or kidnapped get justice,” the father of the girl was quoted as saying by news agnecy ANI.

11:09 IST: It has now been confirmed that a total of three people have been convicted in the 2013 Jodhpur rape case. Those convicted include Asaram, Shilpi and Sharat. Asaram’s aide Shiva and cook Prakash have been found not guilty in the case.
A Jodhpur court has convicted Asaram of raping a minor in 2014 (India Today file photo)

11:23 IST: The special SC/ST court that convicted Asaram in the 2013 rape case is now hearing arguments on the quantum of punishment. It is not known yet whether the court will announce the sentence today or whether it will reserve judgment on the punishment until a later date.

11:35 IST: Ashok Gehlot, who was the Rajasthan chief minister when the Jodhpur rape case involving Asaram first surfaced, has reacted to the ‘godman’s’ conviction, saying people should stay away from the “dhongi baba (fake godmen)”. “Blind faith is not good… People should respect the real godmen and stay away from such fake godmen,” Gehlot said while asking Asram’s followers to maintain peace.

11:37 IST: Ashok Gehlot, who was the Rajasthan chief minister when the Jodhpur rape case involving Asaram first surfaced, has reacted to the ‘godman’s’ conviction, saying people should stay away from the “dhongi baba (fake godmen)”. “Blind faith is not good… People should respect the real godmen and stay away from such fake godmen,” Gehlot said while asking Asram’s followers to maintain peace.

A Jodhpur court has found self-styled godman Asaram, 77, guilty of raping a minor five years ago in Jodhpur. Asaram, along with two others, was convicted by a court in Jodhpur. Asaram has been in a jail in Jodhpur since 2013, when he was arrested in the rape case. Here are the live updates from Asaram’s rape case verdict.

11:37 AM IST

Ashok Gehlot, who was the Rajasthan chief minister when the Jodhpur rape case involving Asaram first surfaced, has reacted to the ‘godman’s’ conviction, saying people should stay away from the “dhongi baba (fake godmen)”. “Blind faith is not good… People should respect the real godmen and stay away from such fake godmen,” Gehlot said while asking Asram’s followers to maintain peace.

11:35 AM IST

Ashok Gehlot, who was the Rajasthan chief minister when the Jodhpur rape case involving Asaram first surfaced, has reacted to the ‘godman’s’ conviction, saying people should stay away from the “dhongi baba (fake godmen)”. “Blind faith is not good… People should respect the real godmen and stay away from such fake godmen,” Gehlot said while asking Asram’s followers to maintain peace.

11:23 AM IST

The special SC/ST court that convicted Asaram in the 2013 rape case is now hearing arguments on the quantum of punishment. It is not known yet whether the court will announce the sentence today or whether it will reserve judgment on the punishment until a later date.

11:09 AM IST

It has now been confirmed that a total of three people have been convicted in the 2013 Jodhpur rape case. Those convicted include Asaram, Shilpi and Sharat. Asaram’s aide Shiva and cook Prakash have been found not guilty in the case.

A Jodhpur court has convicted Asaram of raping a minor in 2014 (India Today file photo)

11:05 AM IST

The father of the girl who was raped by Asaram in 2013 has reacted to the self-styled godman’s conviction. “Asaram is convicted, we have got justice. I want to thank everyone who supported us in this fight. Now I hope he will get strict punishment. I also hope the witnesses who were murdered or kidnapped get justice,” the father of the girl was quoted as saying by news agnecy ANI.

11:03 AM IST

There is some discrepency over the reports of whether all of Asaram’s co-accused too have been found guilty in the 2013 Jodhpur rape case. Reports coming in now say that along with Asaram, Shilpi and Sharat have been convicted. The other two accused — Shiva and Prakash — are believed to have been acquitted in the rape case.

10:49 AM IST

The first reaction from Asaram’s ashram in. Neelam Dubey, a spokesperson for Asaram, was quoted by news agency ANI as saying that they will “respect the court order” and will “move ahead within the system”.

10:46 AM IST

The SC/ST court that covicted Asaram in the 2013 rape case will now announce the quantum of punihsment for the self-styled ‘godman’. It is not known if the sentencing will happen today or on a later date.

10:42 AM IST

All the accused in the 2013 rape case involving Asaram have been found guilty by a special SC/ST court in Jodhpur.

10:34 AM IST

Asaram has now reached the makeshift court where a special SC/ST judge will pronounce the verdict in a five-year-old rape case. Asaram is accused of raping a 16-year-old girl in his Jodhpur ashram in August 2013.

10:25 AM IST

India Today TV correspondents from Jodhpur are reporting that Asaram has not yet reached the makeshift courtroom inside the Jodhpur jail. Outside, the police are taking no chances with security. Authorities have cleared out the area around the jail and are even using drone cameras to keep a watch on the surroundings.

10:17 AM IST

Interestingly, one of the top trends on Twitter right now is ‘#CleanChitToBapuji’. The hashtag is trending just below ‘AsaramCaseVerdict’ and ‘AsaramVerdict’ hashtags.

10:12 AM IST

Security has also been increased near the home of the woman who accused Asaram of sexually assaulting her in Jodhpur in 2013. KB Singh, an officer from the Uttar Pradesh Police, has said that they have been providing “full security” to the victim and her family. Security will be increased even more if the need arises, Singh has said.

10:04 AM IST

Ahmedabad, the place where Asaram opened his first ashram, is among the places in the country that are on high alert. Authorities across the country have taken strong steps to prevent a repeat of the violence seen in the aftermath of the rape conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in Haryana. In Ahmedabad, five police teams have been deployed at Asaram’s ashram in Motera.

Visuals of Asaram’s followers praying at his Ahmedabad ashram ahead of the rape case verdict (Twitter/ANI)

10:01 AM IST

Visuals from the Johpur jail where Asaram is lodged show exterior walls that have been written upon, presumably by the followers of the controversial ‘godman’. “Bapu jaldi bahar aao (Bapu, come out of jail soon),” reads one of the scribbles on the jail’s walls.

09:58 AM IST

The special SC/ST court that is hearing the Asaram rape case has begun proceedings inside the Jodhpur jail. Asaram has been lodged at the prison since 2013 when he was arrested for allegedly raping a minor girl. Security outside the jail is extremely tight and prohibitory orders are in place.

09:47 AM IST

More details have come out regarding the detention of an Asaram supporter from outside the Jodhpur jail earlier today. The supporter was nabbed when he reached near the jail and tried to put a garland on Asaram’s poster, according to a PTI report. Prohibitory orders outside the Jodhpur jail where the judgment in the Asaram rape case will be pronounced.

09:29 AM IST

THROWBACK | An apex body of Hindu sadhus, last year, declared Asaram Bapu to be a ‘fake saint’. Asaram was on a list of 14 ‘fake babas’ issued by the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad. Also on the list were Sant Rampal, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, Radhe Maa, and Asaram’s son Narayan Sai. “Such hypocrite babas should be put in jails, also their assets must be probed,” Akhada Parishad National President, Mahant Narendra Giri had said then.

(Clockwise from top left) Asaram Bapu, Swami Aseemanand, Icchadhari Bhimanand, Narayan Sai, Sant Rampal, Radhe Ma, Swami Om and Nirmal Baba are all on the list of 14 ‘fake babas’ (Photos: Agencies/File/Facebook)

09:24 AM IST

Yesterday, the Asaram Ashram issued a statement asking followers to maintain peace and desist from violence or anti-social activities. “We have faith in the Indian judicial system… Asaram Bapuji is innocent and will soon be amongst us,” a statement issued by the Ashram read.

09:17 AM IST

Special SC/ST judge Madhu Sudan Sharma, who will deliver the verdict in the Asaram rape case, is currently inside the special court that has been set up in the Jodhpur Central Jail, where the ‘godman’ is lodged. The three other accused in the case — Shiv, Sharat and Shilpi — too are at the jail court.

09:10 AM IST

KNOW MORE | 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.

Asaram’s son Naryan Sai. Both of them are accused in a double rape case in Surat (File photo | Getty contributor)

09:00 AM IST

WHAT IS THE ASARAM RAPE CASE? | Asaram is accused of raping a minor girl in Jodhpur’s Manai village in August 2013. Asaram allegedly raped the girl after telling her parents that he would ‘cure’ her of the evil spirits that had ‘possessed’ her. He was arrested in September 2013 and in the five years that Asaram has been in jail and trial against him began, nine witnesses have been attacked, three of whom died. Read our complete timeline of the Asaram rape case here.

08:53 AM IST

Reports coming in from Jodhpur now say that a total of six followers of Asaram Bapu have been detained ahead of the self-styled godman’s rape case verdict. All have been externed from Jodhpur, India Today TV’s correspondent from Jodhpur reports.

08:37 AM IST

FROM THE ARCHIVES | What is Asaram’s story? How did the self-styled godman go from being a spiritual guru to someone facing allegations of violence, fraud, deception, sexual exploitation, land grabbing, illegal deals, bribery and murders? Read our India Today Magazine piece on Asaram’s rags to riches to infamy story.

08:24 AM IST

BACKGROUND | Asaram was arrested in September 2013, shortly after a 16-year-old girl accused of him sexually assaulting her inside his Jodhpur ashram. He has been in jail ever since with courts rejected a number of his bail pleas. The rape trial itself has seen mysterious killings and attacks on witnesses, incidents that Asaram has distanced himself from.

File photo of Asaram being produced at a Jodhpur court

08:21 AM IST

Meanwhile, a follower of Asaram, who is reported to have around 400 ashrams across India and the world, was detained by the police outside the Jodhpur jail where the controversial ‘godman’ is lodged and where the rape case verdict will be pronounced. It is not yet clear why the follower was detained.

08:18 AM IST

The judge who will deliver the verdict in the Asaram rape case — Madhu Sudan Sharma — has reached the Jodhpur jail where the judgment will be delivered. Right now, we’re not sure what time the verdict will be out.

08:07 AM IST

Rajasthan, Haryana and Gujarat are all on high alert ahead of the verdict in the Asaram Bapu rape case. Security in Jodhpur, where the verdict will be pronounced, is especially tight with police conducting flag marches in the city last night. Last week, officials also evicted Asaram’s followers from the ‘godman’s’ ashram in Jodhpur. Authorities are especially cautious since a similar rape case verdict last year saw large-scale violence when followers of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Singh ran riot after he was convicted in two cases of sexual assault in Haryana.




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