Asaram jailed for life for raping teenager at his ashram in 2013

Asaram and 2 aides convicted; 2 other co-accused acquitted

Asaram and 2 aides convicted; 2 other co-accused acquitted

Two of the guru's aides also were convicted, while two others were acquitted. She said she was called by Asaram to his ashram in Manai village near Jodhpur, in the western state of Rajasthan, where he raped her on August 15, 2013.

The tight security comes after devotees of another popular and flamboyant Indian spiritual guru, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who was jailed previous year for raping two female followers, went on a rampage that left 38 dead.

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.

Vikas Pahwa, a lawyer for Asaram, who denied the rape, said they would challenge the verdict in a higher court. Allegations of murder by Asumal aka Asaram and his relatives surfaced during this time, but due to lack of evidence, he was bailed out of the case and left Vijapur to take refuge at Sardarnagar in Ahmedabad.

The Indian guru with millions of followers was found guilty Wednesday of raping a teenage devotee on the pretext of ridding her of evil spirits.

Responding to widespread outrage over the recent rape and killings of young girls and other attacks on children, India's government last week approved the death penalty for people convicted of raping children under age 12. "I would like to appreciate the girl and her family for fighting against the culprits", he added.

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"When I came to know what had happened to my daughter, it was shattering for us.we lost all faith in him when we learnt about his misdeeds", he said, demanding the "strictest punishment" to Asaram. The police chargesheet against Asaram Bapu and four other co-accused Shiva, Shilpi, Sharad and Prakash was filed on November 6, 2013, under the Pocso Act, the JJ Act and the IPC.

Asaram, 77 was arrested in Indore and brought to Jodhpur on September 1, 2013. He is under judicial custody since September 2, 2013.

The cases involving Asaram, who is said to have high-level political connections, have been marred by violence as well as protests. Two Surat-based sisters had lodged separate complaints against Asaram and his son Narayan Sai, accusing them of rape and illegal confinement, among other charges. This was never a case of rape.

Ahead of the verdict, Jodhpur police imposed Section 144 in the city to prevent violence breaking out in case his followers were unhappy with the verdict.

Asaram has been held guilty for raping a 16-year old girl five years ago.

Vanzara was made an accused by the CBI in the alleged fake encounter cases of Soharabuddin Sheikh, Tulsi Prajapati and Ishrat Jahan.

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