We’ve got justice for our daughter: rape victim’s dad

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Shahjahanpur (UP), April 25: ” Even if I die now, I will have no regret as we have got justice for our daughter.”
The father of the teenager raped by 77-year-old Asaram said this soon after a Jodhpur court sentenced the self-styled godman to life imprisonment.
“We are very happy with the punishment given by the court to Asaram,” he said. “Now we do not have any fear as the administration and the court are with us,” he said, looking much relieved.
“We had always stated that we have faith in the judiciary and it has been proved correct,” he told media persons who mobbed him for his comments.
“My daughter is very courageous and it is because of her courage that we have managed to ensure that the ‘dhongi baba’ (fake godman) got punishment for his wrongdoings,” he said.
“We have won this fight as Asaram will not be able to come out of jail,” he said.
“The people of the town and the media have given us all the help,” he added.
Earlier, when the reports of Asaram’s conviction first came, the victim’s father expressed satisfaction over the verdict and demanded the “strictest punishment” for him.
“I am happy to get justice, I thank the judiciary and the media for it,” he said.
“We had complete faith in the judiciary and are happy that we got justice,” he said.
“For the past four years, our family members had not been coming out (of our house)… it is satisfying that the verdict has gone against him,” he said.
“We were living in constant terror, our business was adversely hit,” he said.
He spoke about the hardships faced by the family during the trial of the case, saying he was given “allurements and threats to life”.
“He men asked me to go before the media and say that he is innocent, and the court will free him and they will give me as much money as I want,” the victim’s father said.
“With police security at our place, threats were also sent through our relatives,” he added.
Terming the self-styled godman as a “fraud”, the father said such men brainwash god-fearing people and gradually win over their loyalty, making them believe that “the guru is supreme”.
“People like us are brainwashed into believing that they are the incarnation of God. Their so-called mystic powers are repeatedly mentioned and they become the focus of their disciples,” he said.
“When we got completely brainwashed, we were told that there are gurukuls where our children will do well,” he said.
“When I came to know what had happened to my daughter, it was shattering for us… we lost all faith in him when we learnt about his misdeeds,” he said.
The Jodhpur court found 77-year-old Asaram guilty of raping the 16-year-old girl five years ago.
The teenager from Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh was studying at the self-styled godman’s ashram at Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh.
The victim had alleged that Asaram had called her to his ashram in Manai area near Jodhpur and raped her on the night of August 15, 2013.
Ahead of the pronouncement of the judgment, the district administration had extended security to the victim’s family.
The administration had also stepped up vigil at Asaram’s ashram at Rudrapur, about two kilometres away.
Asaram was arrested in Indore and brought to Jodhpur on September 1, 2013 and was sent to judicial custody the next day. (PTI)