Rape not the only charge against self-styled god-man Asaram Bapu. The self-proclaimed godman has been named in many controversies including rape, accusations of land grabbing, culpable homicide and attempt to murder. Below are some controversies he has been embroiled in:
Mysterious deaths of two children inside ashram
His brush with trouble first started in 2008 after the deaths of two 10-year-old cousins, Abhishek and Dipesh Vaghela, at his Motera ashram in Gujarat. The mutilated bodies of the two boys were found in the riverbed near the ashram.
Statement on Delhi gangrape victim
After the 16 December Delhi rape case, Asaram had said that the Delhi gang-rape victim was equally responsible for the rape. He also said that if the girl had chanted the ‘Saraswati mantra’, she would never have stepped into the bus with her boyfriend. Known for his foot-in-the-mouth tendency, he further added that She should have taken God’s name and could have held the hand of one of the men and said I consider you as my brother and should have said to the other two, brother I am helpless, you are my brother, my religious brother… then the misconduct wouldn’t have happened. (Source ABP Live)
Asaram calls critics and media “barking dogs”
Following his shocking statement on the victim of Delhi gangrape, Asaram Bapu again landed in another controversy when he said that when an ‘elephant walks (gestures at himself), first one dog starts barking, then others around him and finally the whole neighborhood’s dogs join in the bedlam. They thereby benefit by getting some attention themselves. Now, if the elephant runs behind the dogs, then their (dogs) value increases and that of the elephant comes down’. “They can say what they like. I don’t care. I still maintain why should I run behind the dogs,” Asaram added.
Modi against ‘suppression’
Asaram warned Narendra Modi on Monday saying that “if you will try to suppress us more, then we will throw you out”. “The way Gujarat Police had treated us, even Ravan’s police would not have treated anyone. Even though we took permission, we were mistreated. But I have also stated that I will do a satsang in Somnath. They can arrest whosoever they want,” Asaram said. Bapu made this statement in a case related to the mysterious deaths of Dipesh and Abhishek Waghela- students of Motera Gurukul (in July 2008).
February 2013: Mysterious death of Rahul Pachouri
In February this year, 24-year-old Rahul Pachouri, at Asaram’s ashram in Jabalpur mysteriously died. His father says he was poisoned in the Ashram.
“A couple of times he told an acquaintance, Mr. Shukla, that someone tried to poison me… and will tell you his name,” Pachouri’s father told Times Now.
He told the TV channel that his son had said that he had some information about fake medicines being sold by the ashram.
Asaram Bapu ‘kicked’ devotee, hurled abuses 2013
Aman Singh, a devotee of Asaram Bapu, went to seek blessings after the sermon when he was brutally kicked by the controversial godman. Not only this, the godman also hurled abuses at Dangi in presence of other devotees and asked him to shoo away.
Asaram Bapu’s books on sex tips given to students
Children in Chhattisgarh’s south Bastar district of Kondagaon were allegedly being forced to read books authored by disgraced godman Asaram Bapu to prepare for a competitive exam. “If someone opts for sexual indulgence in life, he should be reminded of philosopher Socrates’ teachings,” the book ‘Divya Prerana-Prakash reportedly said. “Sexual appetite is never satisfied. It renders one’s life useless and devastated”, the book mentioned.
January 2013: Land grab case in Madhya Pradesh
Serious Fraud Investigating Office (SFIO) recommended his prosecution in a Rs 700-crore land grab case in Madhya Pradesh.
The case pertained to 200 acres of land in Ratlam. The land belonging to Jayant Vitamins Limited (JVL) is located on the Delhi-Pune freight corridor and was allegedly grabbed in 2000. Asaram’s followers had been using it since then.
Asaram was arrested in 2013 in a rape case
A 16-year-old girl from Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh alleged sexual assault by him in his ashram on the outskirts of Jodhpur. He is charged under sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Asaram was arrested from Indore and brought to Jodhpur central jail on September 1, 2013. He has been under judicial custody since. A trial court in Jodhpur pronounced its verdict in the rape case involvingAsaram on 25 April 2018. Asaram Bapu, two others were convicted by Jodhpur Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Court in that rape case.
Court has found self-styled godman Asaram, 77, guilty of raping a minor five years ago in Jodhpur. Asaram, along with five others, was convicted by a court in Jodhpur.Asaram has been in a jail in Jodhpur since 2013, when he was arrested in the rape case.
What do you think about Asaram Bapu, A Godman or criminal?