News East West
NEW DELHI: The Jodhpur district and sessions Court on Monday extended the judicial remand of godman Asaram Bapu and his aide Shiva till October 11.
The court also extended the remand of the godman’s female aide Shipa by three days. Shipla, who is a warden at Asaram’s Gurukul ashram in Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh, surrendered before the court last week.
The godman has been lodged in Jodhpur Central Jail since September 2 on charges of sexually abusing a minor girl at his ashram near Jodhpur on the night of August 15.
The 72-year-old godman was produced before the Jodhpur district and sessions court which extended judicial remand till October 11.
“Asaram was presented in the court following completion of his judicial custody today. Earlier, he appeared before the same court on September 16,’’ defence lawyer Anand Purohit to reporters outside the court.
Police had to resort to a mild force to keep off angry supporters of the godman who had gathered outside the court.
The godman allegedly sexually molested the 16-year-old girl – who was a student at the Gurukul Ashram (school) run by him at Chhindwada in Madhya Pradesh – in his Manai ashram near Jodhpur on the night of August 15.
The girl, who had fallen ill, was reportedly told by school warden Shilpi that she is under the influence of spirits and needs to go to the godman 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.
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