After the conviction of the self-styled Godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, it seems that the bad times has begun for all the self-proclaimed Godmen as the Supreme Court on Monday questioned the Gujarat government over the slow pace of trial in the rape case involving another self-styled godman Asaram Bapu.
A court in Gandhinagar framed charges against self-styled godman Asaram Bapu in March 2016, more than two years after the police filed a charge-sheet against him and six others in a rape case.
The two Surat-based sisters had lodged separate complaints against Asaram and his son Narayan Sai, accusing them of rape and illegal confinement, among other charges. The elder sister, in her complaint against Asaram, had accused him of repeated sexual assaults between 2001 and 2006 when she was staying at his ashram near Ahmedabad.
The apex court had noted that trial in the matter was unnecessarily prolonged and the prosecution witnesses were being attacked, which led to the death of two witnesses. The apex court had on November 18 last year sought the response of the Centre and five states on a plea seeking a CBI probe into the alleged murder of children and attacks on ten witnesses in the Asaram rape cases.
A deep insight into Asaram’s life reveals that this isn’t the only crime he has been indulged in.
Even by the murky standards of India’s self-styled spiritual gurus, the allegations whirling around the 74-year-old Asaram are exceptional: suspected black magic and human sacrifice; the deaths of four young male students of the residential schools in his ashrams, of which the bodies of two were found severely burned and mutilated, their limbs and internal organs missing; sexual assault of a minor girl under the pretext of ‘exorcism’.
With the Indian Judiciary maintaining a tough stance against the convicts of the likes of Asaram Bapu, it won’t come as a surprise if a harsh judgment is passed against the rape convict.