Reacting to the conviction of ‘self-styled’ godman Asaram Bapu, father of the rape survivor on Wednesday said that his daughter was happy as her five-year-long wait for justice ended today.
“Asaram is convicted, we have got justice. My daughter is happy today. I want to thank everyone who supported us in this fight,” said the father of the rape survivor.
The special SC/ST court sentenced Asaram to life imprisonment and awarded 20 years in jail to two of his associates.
The victim was only 16-year-old when the ‘godman’ raped her at his ashram near Jodhpur five years ago. The parents of the girl were followers of the 77-year-old Asaram and had been tricked into sending the girl to him.
They were told that their daughter, who was studying at another ashram in Madhya Pradesh, was "possessed" by evil spirits and needed to be purged by the godman.
Following the arrest of Asaram, a spate of threats, attacks and killings of witnesses willing to testify against Asaram began. While several cases of witness tampering emerged, the witnesses were even attacked inside the court premises.
Nine witnesses in the two cases of rape against Asaram and his son Narayan Said were attacked, three of them died.