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NEW DELHI: The hopes of Indian godman Asaram Bapu, who is in judicial custody for allegedly raping a minor girl in August, to get out of jail were dashed on Wednesday when the Rajasthan high court in Jaipur put off hearing on his bail plea till October 1.
Interestingly, India’s famous lawyer Ram Jethmalani represented Asaram Bapu during the brief hearing on Wednesday when Justice Nirmaljit Kaur put off the hearing on the godman’s bail plea till October 1.
The 72-year-old godman has been locked up in Jodhpur Central Jail since September 2. He was arrested from Indore on September 1 and brought to Jodhpur because he committed the alleged sexual crime in his ashram near Jodhpur.
The septuagenarian godman allegedly sexually molested the girl, who is a student at the gurukul (school) run by him at Chhindwada in Madhya Pradesh, in his Manai ashram near Jodhpur.
The girl, who had fallen ill, was reportedly told by the keepers of the school that she is under the influence of spirits and needs to go to Asaram Bapu in Jodhpur where he would perform a special ritual for her health in an isolated place. When her family took the girl to Asaram Bapu out of reverence for the godman, he allegedly raped her on the night of August 15.
Two days later, she broke down and narrated her ordeal to her parents who filed an FIR against the godman.
Known for controversies, the godman outraged middle-class Indians when he suggested after the Delhi gangrape case in which a 23-year-old student was sexually assaulted and brutally injured by six maniacs on a moving bus in December, that the girl could have escaped by calling the six men her brothers and seeking forgiveness.