An Indian courtroom on Tuesday sentenced self-proclaimed religious guru Asaram Bapu to life imprisonment on costs of rape and sodomy, in line with his lawyer.
The decision is the second life time period towards the octogenarian, who’s already serving a life sentence following his 2018 conviction for raping a 16-year-old woman.
Asaram’s lawyer C.B. Gupta informed CNN the courtroom within the western state of Gujarat additionally ordered him to pay 50,000 rupees (about $600) in compensation to the sufferer.
“We could attraction the judgment within the excessive courtroom,” the lawyer mentioned.
Asaram, 81, described on his web site as a “religious revolutionist” and “nice trainer,” is one in every of India’s best-known religious gurus.
Generally known as “Bapuji” or “father” amongst his followers, he rose to prominence within the Nineteen Seventies earlier than constructing an unlimited spiritual empire that features tons of of hundreds of followers, about 400 spiritual faculties throughout India, and quite a few international outreach packages.
The most recent ruling towards him comes at a time when India’s poor monitor file on violence has been beneath the highlight.
Final August, an Indian courtroom freed 11 Hindu males who had been sentenced to life for the gang-rape of a pregnant Muslim lady throughout lethal riots in 2002, angering rights teams and activists.
On common, there may be one rape reported each 17 minutes in India, in line with authorities figures. Campaigners say deeply-entrenched misogynistic and patriarchal values within the nation of 1.3 billion are partly responsible.
Religious gurus in India can draw thousands and thousands of devotees to spiritual faculties referred to as ashrams which can be unfold throughout the nation.
In recent times, sexual assault accusations towards a few of these gurus have sparked violent skirmishes.
After Asaram was arrested in 2013 on the primary rape cost, clashes broke out between his supporters and police in a number of main cities.
In 2019, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, head of the religious sect Dera Sacha Sauda, was sentenced to life in jail for the 2002 homicide of a journalist who helped expose the sexual abuse of girls inside his group. The guru was already serving a life sentence for raping two of his followers.
After the primary verdict towards Singth, riots erupted that left 36 individuals lifeless and tons of injured.