News East West
NEW DELHI: Self-styled Indian godman Asaram Bapu, 77, who has been jailed for life for raping a 16-year-old girl at his ashram near Jodhpur in Rajasthan in 2013, used to say that rape was no sin for an enlightened person like him. An enlightened person in the Indian context is called “Brahmgyani.’’
This was divulged by one prosecution witness Rahul K Sachar, who was a former follower of the godman and had access to his living room (kutiya), during the trial.
Sachar disclosed that he had seen the godman molest girls in his three ashrams in 2003.
He said three girls used to stay permanently with the godman. He would roam among his devotees with these three girls and randomly select girls to fulfill his sexual lust.
Whenever he wanted sex, the godman would send a torchlight signal to three girls who would take the selected girl to his room for sex.
Sachar said when he saw the godman molesting a girl in his room, he sent him two letters but he never responded. He said then one day he forcibly entered the godman’s room and asked him why he was doing the sin of raping young girls.
The godman said that he was an enlightened man (Brahmagyani) and rape was no sin for any enlightened person.
These are the words of the godman: “Brahmgiani ko ye sab karne se paap nahi lagta.'(Rape is no sin for an enlightened person)’’
The 16-year-old girl for raping whom he has been jailed for life was the daughter of his devotee couple. She was a student at a hostel run by the godman. When this girl complained of some illness, she was sent to the godman by her warden Shilpi (also jailed for 20 years) to cure her of `evil spirits.’
When the girl and her parents met the godman, he chanted some mantras and then asked the parents to leave the room.
When the girl was alone with him in his room, the godman asked her about her studies. She said she wanted to become a chartered accountant. The godman said: “What will you do by becoming a CA? Big officers bow their head at my feet.’’
He then told the girl to instead study for a B.Ed, promising to appoint her a teacher and later principal at one of his ‘gurukuls’ (traditional schools).
The godman then sexually assaulted the girl and kept her confined for one and a half hours.
And this godman, who has millions of followers, over 400 ashrams and a business empire worth over Rs 100,000 million will now stay behind bars till his death.