Asaram Bapu convicted of raping minor girl

A Jodhpur court convicted self-styled godman Asaram of raping a minor girl at his ashram in Manai village near Jodhpur. Asaram was charged with raping a 16-year-old girl from Uttar Pradesh’s Shahajahanpur in 2013. He was arrested later that year. The five charges that have been levelled against Asaram Bapu are, raping minor girl, wrongful confinement, criminal intimidation, criminal conspiracy and sexual harassment. The case against Asaram is registered under the Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. Asaram, who is currently lodged in the Jodhpur Central jail, was facing trial in two sexual assault cases: one in Rajasthan and the other in Gujarat. The ruling by the special court at Jodhpur Central Jail, where the 77-year-old Asaram is lodged, was delivered with stringent security measures in place in the city and the rest of Rajasthan. The Centre has asked Gujarat and Haryana also to tighten security and deploy additional forces in a bid to prevent a repeat of the large-scale violence that took place in Haryana and neighbouring states following the conviction of another self-styled godman, Gurmeet Ram Rahim, in a rape case last August.