Jodhpur, April 25: 'Godman' Asaram Bapu and all other accused in connection with the rape of a 16-year-old minor have been found guilty by Jodhpur Court on Wednesday. The father of Shahjahanpur victim thanked everyone who supported the family in the fight for justice. "Asaram is convicted, we have got justice. I want to thank everyone who supported us in this fight. Now I hope he will get strict punishment. I also hope the witnesses who were murdered or kidnapped get justice", the victim's father said.
"I don't even remember how many times I have been threatened. I thank you (the media), the people of the city and women's organisations. I am still awaiting the sentence. The witnesses, who have been killed or abducted, will get justice. The pain we have seen, the pain that we witnessed. We cannot leave the house, there is heavy police presence here," the victim's father added.
The SC/ST court that convicted Asaram in the 2013 rape case will now announce the quantum of punishment for the self-styled 'godman'. Meanwhile, Neelam Dubey, a spokesperson for Asaram, was quoted by news agency ANI as saying that they will "respect the court order" and will "move ahead within the system". Dubey said that the verdict will have no impact on Ashram's activities, they will go on as usual.
"The Kalpana NGO, which counselled the victim, is fake. The medical report, too, said there was no mark on the victim's body and it is yet to be seen whether she is a minor or not," Neelam Dubey said.
Asaram is convicted, we have got justice. I want to thank everyone who supported us in this fight. Now I hope he will get strict punishment. I also hope the witnesses who were murdered or kidnapped get justice: Father of Shahjahanpur victim #AsaramCaseVerdict pic.twitter.com/sUJ3atJJJY
— ANI (@ANI) April 25, 2018
Asaram's involvement was probed in two separate cases - one from Rajasthan and the other from Gujarat. The 77-year old Godman was taken into police custody in August 2013, following which he was taken to Jodhpur Central jail.
Reports inform that a month later, a potency test was conducted on him and was produced before a Jodhpur court. While the self-styled godman has filed a number of bail petitions, a total of 12 applications were rejected by the trial court, the Rajasthan High Court, and the Supreme Court.