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Nobody is above the law

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Rajasthan government has appealed the Supreme Court to direct an ordered to Salman Khan for surrendering immediately and should be lodge in jail in two poaching cases. In July, the Rajasthan High Court has acquitted Mr. Khan allegedly in killing an endangered species of gazelle or chinkara in two separate incidents in 1998 while he was shooting for a film in the desert state. Now, the state government has challenged his acquittal and wants him to be imprisoned to serve the rest of his sentence – after being convicted in 2007 in the same case. He was awarded a one-year prison term and a five-year prison term respectively. He then spent a week in Jodhpur Jail before being granted bail. While finding him not guilty, the High Court said there was no evidence to prove that the animals that were found dead were shot by Khan’s licensed gun. Key witnesses, the driver of the jeep that was used by Salman Khan and his co-stars for their alleged hunt was missing, the prosecution admitted, which considerably weakened the case against the actor. However, just days later, media tracked down the driver, Harish Dulani, who said that he saw Khan shoot the chinkara, but had dodged testifying in court because he had been threatened.

Khan is also accused of killing a protected species of blackbuck antelope in October 2, 1998. The trial in that case is being heard separately. 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 attentions 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 three years in connection with an alleged rape case. Now, SC asks Rajasthan government to respond to Asaram Bapu’s bail pleas. Rajasthan Government has to deal with two celebrity cases, one they asking for SC to direct Salman and in another case SC asking the government to look in to the matter.

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 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, relation, giving birth to son etc. and he knows if he indulges in such activity nothing will happen to his empire as he has thousands of followers and political support. He is booked on charges of forcing a girl to take part in an act of unnatural sex. In any complaint by a woman or a girl, the onus of proving oneself innocent, the burden of proof lies on the accused.

This is not the first time that such allegations are made against him. We should look at him as accused and let the police do its job. If we all believe that he is innocent and has not done anything then, believe me if he will come clean that would be the biggest slap on conspirator’s face. He is not the first godman who is arrested in sexual assault. 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.

And we have to realise that being celebrity, you are not above the law. I truly hope that justice will prevail as both the cases are dragged on for almost decades.

(Any suggestions, comments or dispute with regards to this article send us on [email protected])

Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 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 caters to her freelance jobs.

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