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

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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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7 killed after Delhi-Bound train derails in Bihar

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NEW DELHI — At least seven people have died and 14 others injured after a Delhi-bound train derailed early Sunday morning in Bihar’s Vaishali district.

Eleven coaches of 12487 Seemanchal Express derailed near Sahadai Buzurg at around 3:52 am. Three of the coaches overturned and the high force of the impact destroyed them completely.

The injured are being transported to local hospitals.

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The superfast train from Jogbani in Bihar to Delhi’s Anand Vihar Terminal was running at full speed when the accident took place, officials said.

Bodies are believed to be trapped inside one of the affected coaches and the number of dead is likely to rise, local police official said.

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