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India’s self-styled godman found guilty of raping minor girl

Gorkha Post

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JODHPUR — India’s self-styled godman Asaram Bapu was found guilty in a 2013 rape case by Jodhpur Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Court, on Wednesday.

The Jodhpur Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribe Court, in a much-awaited verdict on Wednesday convicted Asaram Bapu and two others accused of raping a teenager in Manai village near Jodhpur at his ashram in 2013.

Asaram’s spokesperson Neelam Dubey said they will talk to their legal team and decide future course of action.

“We will discuss with our legal team and then decide our future course of action. We have confidence in our judiciary,” Dubey said.

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Earlier in the day, people were seen offering prayers at the godman’s ashram in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal, Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi, Gujarat’s Ahmedabad and Punjab’s Ludhiana for his acquittal.

A follower of Asaram even reached the jail with a garland in the morning. He, however, was detained by police.

The 77-year-old Asaram was arrested in Indore and brought to Jodhpur on 1 September, 2013. He is under judicial custody since 2 September, 2013. The chargesheet against Asaram and four other co-accused Shiva, Shilpi, Sharad and Prakash was filed by the police on 6 November, 2013 under various sections of the POSCO Act, Juvenile Justice Act and IPC.

The judgement in the case was pronounced inside the Jodhpur Central Jail, keeping in view the law and order in situation in Rajasthan and neighbouring states.

Asaram is also facing a trial in Gujarat for raping two Surat-based sisters. His son, Narayan Sai, is also an accused in the case.

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Russian rocket fails in the mid air, crew lands safely

Thompson Reuters

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COSMODROME—Booster rocket carrying a Soyuz spacecraft with a Russian and US astronaut on board headed for the International Space Station failed in mid-air on Thursday, forcing the crew to make an emergency landing.

U.S. astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin landed safely without any harm.

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Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov, quoted by Interfax, said the problem occurred when the first and second stages of the booster rocket were in the process of separating.

The rocket was launched from the Soviet-era cosmodrome in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. A Reuters reporter who observed the launch from around 1 km away said that it had gone smoothly in its initial stage.

“Search and rescue teams are in the air and heading towards the expected touchdown location for the Soyuz spacecraft returning to Earth carrying two crew members,” NASA said in a statement.

 

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