Asaram Bapu convicted in rape case

Asaram Bapu, the religious leader popular in many parts of North India, has been held guilty of assaulting a 16-year-old girl at his ashram near Jodhpur earlier that year and was later sent to the Jodhpur Central Jail.

The verdict was pronounced by the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe court in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.

“We haven’t got any confirmation yet of the sentence. We will update when we get official confirmation,” said Neelam Dubey, the public relations officer for Asaram Bapu.

She said the religious leader will approach the High Court if the lower court has indeed convicted the leader.

The case was filed under several sections and laws related to rape, sexual exploitation of minors and others. It is not clear which sections he has been held guilty under.

The leader has already spent 4.5 years in jail.

Two of the four co-accused have also been convicted, while two have been let off.

Starting in the early 1970s, Asaram Bapu had established over 400 ashrams in India and abroad and has numerous followers.

Asharam was born on 17 April 1941, in the Berani village of the Nawabshah District in British India (Present-day Berani Town in Sindh, Pakistan) to Menhgiba and Thaumal Sirumalani.