Spiritual Leader,Asaram sentenced to life imprisonment for the rape of a minor girl in 2013. A life term is the maximum imprisonment under the Pocso Act.
Judge Madhusudhan Sharma of the court of SC/ST cases also sentenced the two other convicts Shilpi and Sharad to 20 years in jail.
Many states put on high alert and thousands of extra police deployed ahead of Asaram’s trial with authorities fearing riots if “Babuji” was found guilty.
Devotees of another self-styled Hindu guru, who was jailed in 2017 for 20 years for rape, went on a rampage that lasted days and left 38 dead.
Asaram still commands a huge following but his star power has faded following the rape charges and other controversies.
He is also accused of raping another devotee and involvement in the killing of two students at another of his Hindu retreats.
Asaram started from a hut on the banks of the Sabarmati and created a Rs 10,000 crore empire with 400 ashrams in India and other parts of the world in four decades.
The chargesheet against Asaram and the four other co-accused was filed by the police on November 6, 2013 under various sections of the POSCO (Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences) Act, the Juvenile Justice Act and the Indian Penal Code. The teenager had said in her complaint that Asaram had called her to his ashram in Manai area near Jodhpur and raped her on the night of August 15, 2013.
The young girl from Shahajanpur in Uttar Pradesh was studying at Asaram’s ashram in Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh. “We had complete faith in the judiciary and are happy that we got justice,” her father told journalists after the verdict came in. The family, he said, had been living in constant terror and their business was hit. Ahead of the verdict, security was stepped up in Jodhpur where prohibitory orders were imposed.