New Delhi: A special Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe court on Wednesday convicted self-styled godman Asaram Bapu in a 2013 minor girl rape case.
It was one of Asaram’s aides, Shilpi, now convicted, who convinced the parents of the teenage girl that the latter was possessed by evil spirits and sent the girl to Asaram in Jodhpur.
Shilpi was a warden in Asaram’s ‘ashram’ in Chhindwara district in Madhya Pradesh.
The teenage girl later claimed that the godman sexually assaulted her.
The call details also showed that Shilpi was in constant touch with Asaram and the girl’s family and the communication became very frequent just a week before the girl was allegedly assaulted.
The teenage girl, in her complaint, said that Shilpi used to brainwash young girls and send them to Asaram.
It was also alleged that Shiva, the mediator between Shilpi and Ashram, was also present in Mani Ashram the day the assault took place.
So who is Shilpi? According to reports, her real name is Sanchita and she, along with her family, was a devotee of Asaram. Her family used to take her to Asaram’s ashrams.
With a masters in Psychology, she is said to have joined Asaram’s ashram in Ahmedabad in 2005. In 2012 she reportedly told her parents that she was embracing this life.
There were certain reports that did the round during her surrender that she was in fact Asaram’s daughter. There was, however, no concrete evidence to prove that.