Lucknow, April 25: The father of the survivor who was raped as a teenager in 2013 by Asaram Bapu, on Wednesday welcomed a Jodhpur court’s verdict convicting the self-styled godman. Talking to reporters outside his house in Shahjahanpur in uttar Pradesh, after the court convicted Asaram Bapu of rape, the father said they had full faith in the judicial system. However, he added that their struggles and ordeals during the period they were seeking justice tested their grit.
The survivor, who was a Class 12 student at Asaram Bapu’s Chhindwara Ashram in Madhya Pradesh, was raped in August 2013. Following complaints about her sickness while in Chhindwara, the godman had summoned the girl and her family to his ashram in Manai village on the outskirts of Jodhpur in Rajasthan. According to the victim’s complaint, she was raped for an hour by the godman on the intervening night of August 15-16, 2013.
The rape survivor’s father who had lodged complaint on August 20, also thanked the media for relentlessly pursuing the matter, and the district administration for providing them security all through the judicial process. He also expressed hope that the court would hand out the toughest of punishment to the godman. Before the judgment was pronounced by the Jodhpur court, security around the survivor’s residence was increased. Pursuing the legal fight for the last five years, since he got a call from the Chhindwara hostel on August 7, 2013, he said he had been waiting for this moment. He said, the ashram authorities had claimed that his daughter was besieged by spirits. To ward them off, he had taken her to meet Asaram and seek his blessings. She reported the matter to her parents, who in turn had filed a zero First Information Report (FIR) with the Kamla Nagar police station in New Delhi on August 20. Asaram Bapu has been in judicial custody since September 2, 2013.(IANS)