Self-Styled Godman Asaram’s Son Narayan Sai Convicted Of Rape Charges, Sentence Due
A Surat Sessions Court today, convicted self-styled Godman Asaram’s son Narayan Sai, of rape charges filed by two Surat-based sisters on him and his father back in October 2013. The sentencing for the case is due on Tuesday, 30th of April.
Narayan Sai has been convicted under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 376 (rape), 377 (unnatural offences), 323 (assault), 506-2 (criminal intimidation) and 120-B (conspiracy).
What are the charges?
Back in October 2013, both the sisters filed separate rape complaints at Jahangirpura Police station in Surat against Narayan Sai and Asaram Bapu.
The younger of the two Surat-sisters accused Narayan Sai of repeatedly raping her between 2002 and 2005 when she was living at Asaram’s ashram in Surat. The older sister similarly alleged Asaram Bapu of rape and sexual assault when she was living at the latter’s ashram at the outskirts of Ahmedabad between 1997 and 2006.
The Surat police filed a 1,100-page charge sheet against Sai in 2014. The tally of the total number of accused in the case is 11, of which six were acquitted.
The Telegraph reported that those found guilty are Narayan Sai, his aides-Dharmishtha alias Ganga, Bhavna alias Jamuna and Pavan alias Hanuman. Sai’s driver Rajkumar who is also known as Ramesh Malhotra was held guilty under IPC section 212 for harbouring an offender.
The charges against Ganga and Jamuna, the “sadhikas” (women disciples) in the conspiracy are that of putting the accused in illegal confinement and thrashing her at Sai’s behest. They were also accused of trying to brainwash her into agreeing to have a relationship with Sai.
Hanuman, a loyal “sadhak” (disciple) of Sai, was accused of abetment, including taking the victim to Sai’s room.
Later that year in December 2013, after charges of sexual assault were booked against Narayan Sai he was arrested at Pipli on the Delhi-Haryana border and has been lodged at Lajpore Jail ever since. He had tried to get an anticipatory bail before his arrest in November but was rejected. And Surat Police claim that in jail, Sai has tried to bribe police officers, doctors and even judicial officers to weaken the case against him.
Asaram, on the other hand, was convicted for raping a minor in 2013 and sentenced for a life term by a special SC/ST court on April 25, 2018. The girl was a teenager from Shahjahanpur of Uttar Pradesh and who joined the Godman’s ashram in Chhindwara, Madhya Pradesh. His accomplices, Sharad and Shilpi, were also sentenced to 20 years each in jail in the case and two other co-accused Shiva and Prakash were acquitted of charges.
Ever since the charges were framed against Asaram Bapu and his son, there have been a series of hurdles, threats and attacks on witnesses surrounding the case and even the Deputy Commissioner of Police of Jodhpur West, Ajay Pal Lamba. Asaram case was a delicate high profile case as the Godman was at the peak of his “spiritual popularity” when the charges were framed against him.
Odhisatv.in reported that three witnesses, closely associated with them, were killed. The witnesses killed include Rajkot-based Ayurveda doctor Amrut Prajapati, who was shot dead right outside his clinic, a cook and an aide of Asaram named Akhil Gupta who was shot dead in his home-town Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh and the third was Kripal Singh who died a day after he was shot at in Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh.