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If Salman can be acquitted, why can’t Asaram?

As the debate on the acquittal of Bollywood actor Salman Khan in the infamous hit-and-run case is settled a bit, self-styled controversial godman Asaram drew attention with his statement that he too is innocent like the actor. Asaram, while heading to appear for hearing of his case, told media persons, that he is also innocent and will come out of jail very soon. He has been jailed since last two years in connection with an alleged rape case. His followers have now taken to social network Twitter to demand bail for their ‘guru’. The hashtag #WeUrgeBailForBapuji was one of the top trends on Twitter. The development comes weeks after Asaram’s followers apprised Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the case.

In August 2013, a 16-year-old girl accused Asaram of sexually assaulting her at his ashram in Jodhpur on the pretext of exorcising her from evil spirits. The girl’s parents filed a complaint with the police in Delhi, and a medical examination confirmed that she had been assaulted. When Asaram did not appear for interrogation by 31 August in that year, Delhi police booked him under Indian Penal Code sections 342 (wrongful confinement), 376 (rape), 506 (criminal intimidation), and sections of the Juvenile Justice Act, and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. Asaram remained inside his other ashram in Indore and avoided arrest while his devotees clashed with journalists and policemen outside. Eventually, the Jodhpur police arrested him on 1 September 2013, from his ashram.

Asaram dismissed the girl’s allegations, and claimed that the accusations were a conspiracy orchestrated by Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi of the then-ruling Congress Party. He had also claimed that he was impotent and not capable of sexual assault; however this was proven to be a lie as tests showed him to be capable of the act. He has since been in jail and denied bail multiple times.

In December 2013, Asaram’s son Narayan Sai was also arrested on charges of rape, after two sisters from Surat alleged that he and his father had raped them in Asaram’s ashram during the mid-2000s. The elder sister accused Asaram of repeated sexual assaults during 1997-2006 at the Motera ashram. The younger sister accused Narayan Sai of sexually assaulting her during 2002-2005 at the Surat ashram. One of the sisters also alleged that Asaram’s wife and daughter helped the two men exploit the girls.

Asaram has his own family life and enjoyed it like a common man, having sex, relationship, giving birth to son etc. and he knows if he indulge himself in such activities nothing will happen to his empire as he has thousands of followers and political support. Asaram is booked on charges of forcing a girl to take part in an act of unnatural sex. If any woman or girl, file a complaint against man accusing him for rape then the onus of proving himself as innocent lies totally on the accused.

This is not the first time that such allegations are made against him. We should look at him as an accused and let the police do their job. If we believe that he is innocent and has not done anything then, believe me he will come clean that would be biggest slap on conspirators face. He is not the first god man who has been arrested in sexual assault case. These Babas too are like us and even their libido can make them go wild and uncontrollable. This is just a human tendency and pervert instincts. It’s high time, we need to accept the fact that Baba is not any super natural creature.

Asaram questioned the minor victim’s credibility and dragged both Gandhis into the controversy, alleging the police have been acting at their behest. He has a huge following and is instigating people. Asaram has been close to the Hindutva brigade and had managed to ‘call’ several controversies in the past, including cases of murder at his ashrams. His personal charge against Sonia and Rahul, whom he had not named, is now being seen as an effort to politicise the issue. Thousands of Indians criticize both of them openly, and they are least bothered about these unwanted reactions from particular set of people. Now, BJP government is at the centre from past one and a half years and Bapu too has realised that even BJP is not going to help him coming out. God knows who convinced Modi about his release but law of this country is not lame. From 2014–15, there have been numerous attacks against various witnesses in the Asaram case. Amrut Prajapati, a personal aide of Asaram, who claimed to have been attacked multiple times before, was attacked and killed on 23 May 2014. Another associate Akhil Gupta was shot and killed on 11 January 2015. Not only the molestation but he has to come clear from all murder charges.

Looking at Jayalalita, Nirbhaya’s rapist and Salman Khan, people like Asaram can expect anything from the judiciary and government. All the criminals are laughing at judiciary and nowadays somewhere justice is being compromised.

Dr. Vaidehi Taman
Dr. Vaidehi is an Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and an Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. Since 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond the news (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which she caters for her sister-concern Kaizen-India Infosec Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

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