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Asaram gets life imprisonment for rape of minor girl in his ashram in 2013

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Asaram and two accomplices convicted for rape of minor girl in his ashram in 2013

A Jodhpur court today sentenced self-styled godman Asaram to life in prison and two of his accomplices to 20 years jail for raping a 16-year-old girl in his ashram near Jodhpur five years ago.

Last year in August, another self-proclaimed godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim was also convicted of sexual offence.

Special Judge (SC/ST court) Madhusudhan Sharma delivered the verdict in the Jodhpur Central jail premises on Wednesday, April 25. Two of four co-accused Shilpi and Sharat Chandra were also been convicted and awarded 20 years imprisonment each.

The girl from Shahajahanpur in Uttar Pradesh was studying at the godman’s ashram at Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh. The victim had alleged that Asaram called her to his ashram in Manai area near Jodhpur and raped her on the night of August 15, 2013.

On August 20, the parents of the victim filed a complaint in Delhi and later the case was transferred to Jodhpur police.

On August 23, supporters of Asaram Bapu attacked Kamla Market police station in Delhi. Five days later, victim’s father demanded death for Asaram Bapu, while the godman’s son described the minor as mentally unstable.

The chargesheet against Asaram and four other co-accused Shiva, Shilpi, Sharad and Prakash was filed by the police on November 6, 2013 under various sections of the POSCO Act, Juvenile Justice Act and IPC.

The 77-year-old Asaram was arrested in Indore and brought to Jodhpur on September 1, 2013. He is under judicial custody since September 2, 2013. Asaram unsuccessfully moved 12 bail applications, of which six were rejected by the trial court, three by the Rajasthan high court and three by the Supreme Court.

Final arguments in the Asaram case were completed on April 7 and the court had kept the order reserved for April 25.

Arguments for the quantum of sentencing were going on inside the heavily fortified jail premises, where the trial court delivered its verdict in accordance with the directions of the Rajasthan High Court.

Asaram is also facing a rape case in Surat in Gujarat in which the Supreme Court earlier this month gave five weeks time to the prosecution to complete the trial. This case relates to the complaint of rape filed by two sisters from Surat on October 6, 2013 against Asaram and his son Narayan Sai. Apart from rape, he was also facing charges of murder, black magic, to name a few.

The elder sister, in her complaint against Asaram, had accused him of repeated sexual assaults between 2001 and 2006 when she was staying at his ashram near Ahmedabad.

“We had complete faith in the judiciary and are happy that we got justice,” her father told journalists after the verdict came in. The family, he said, had been living in constant terror and their business was hit.

Asaram had started off from a hut on the banks of the Sabarmati and went on to create a Rs 10,000 crore empire with 400 ashrams in India and other parts of the world in four decades.

Apprehending trouble from Asaram’s followers, security was stepped up in Jodhpur where prohibitory orders were imposed ahead of the verdict. The Centre had asked Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana governments to tighten security and deploy additional forces as the three states have a large number of Asaram followers.

The Union Home Ministry had sent an advisory fearing a repeat of the violence in Punjab and Haryana that followed the conviction of Gurmeet Ram Rahim in August last year, when 13 people were killed. He was convicted in a 2002 rape case and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Reactions

Ashok Gehlot (Congress): The time has come when people should be able to differentiate between the actual saints and the frauds, as this creates a bad image of the country in the international arena.

Father of Shahjahanpur victim: Asaram is convicted, we have got justice. I want to thank everyone who supported us in this fight. Now I hope he will get strict punishment. I also hope the witnesses who were murdered or kidnapped get justice.

Neelam Dubey (Spokesperson for Asaram): We will discuss with our legal team and then decide our future course of action. We have confidence in our judiciary.

Former IPS officer and an acquitted accused in the Sohrabuddin case, DG Vanzara came out in support of rape convict Asaram. “There is no charge of rape. The charge is that he inappropriately touched the victim. I am a follower of Asaram,” said Vanzara.

Mahendra Chawla (main eyewitness in the Asaram’s son Narayan Sai’s sexual assault case): Though I have security, I request the Centre for additional security, my life, like other witnesses’, is constantly under threat.

India News

Instagram could soon charge for blue verification mark, check deets here

Reports said reverse engineer Alessandro Paluzzi discovered a code that revealed that Instagram and Facebook are working on a paid verification feature.

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Instagram

After Twitter, Instagram can soon charge for its blue verification badge that allows stars and public figures to get their accounts recognised by their followers.

Reports said reverse engineer Alessandro Paluzzi discovered a code that revealed that Instagram and Facebook are working on a paid verification feature.

The code reads, IG_NME_PAID_BLUE_BADGE_IDV and FB_NME_PAID_BLUE_BADGE_IDV. It is speculated that it stands for identity verification. However, nothing as such has been confirmed by the Meta platforms.

Have a look at the tweet by Alessandro Paluzzi:

In November 2022, Twitter started to roll out its Blue service which included verification tags in India. This service is expensive in India as compared to the US and cost Rs 719 per month.

Elon Musk owned Twitter and also launched a modified version of its verification system that includes gold checkmarks for businesses and grey labels for official accounts.

Reports said the new system aims to correct problems that occurred during the initial rollout of the verified program on the platform that allowed anyone to purchase a blue tick mark for $8 a month.

Last year, Twitter also laid off more than 200 of its employees in India as part of mass layoffs across the globe directed by Elon Musk.

The micro-blogging platform also has ruled to get the blue tick. The user applying for one should have an active Twitter account and needs to be older than 90 days. The user also needs to verify their phone numbers. Further, Twitter will also check if your account has ever engaged in misleading or deceptive manipulation and spam.

The new terms and conditions also warn users to take away their blue ticks if they fail to follow the rules. Also, if the user changes its display name or username, the blue tick will be removed. These rules have been implemented to reduce confusion and promote integrity on the platform.

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India News

IndiGo flies Patna-bound passenger to Udaipur, DGCA orders probe

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In yet another blooper by an airline operator, budget airliner IndiGo reportedly flew a passenger bound for Bihar’s Patna to around 1,400 kilometers from his intended destination- Udaipur in Rajasthan.

According to reports, the passenger was supposed to board an IndiGo flight to Patna, instead he boarded another flight of the same airline bound for Rajasthan’s Udaipur. The incident came to light on January 30 and the passenger was sent to his original destination the next day.

Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has ordered a probe into the incident. In a statement, the regulatory body said that the passenger, Afsar Hussain, had booked a ticket to Patna for Indigo flight 6E-214 and reached Delhi airport on January 30 to board the scheduled flight. But he mistakenly boarded Udaipur-bound flight 6E-319 of Indigo.

The passenger only realised the mistake after landing at Udaipur Airport and informed the airport officials who then alerted IndiGo about the incident.

The passenger was then flown back to Delhi by IndiGo on the same day and then to Patna on January 31.

A DGCA official said that the airline has been asked to submit a report explaining why the boarding pass of the passenger was not scanned thoroughly and how he boarded the wrong flight when as per the rule boarding passes are checked at two points before the boarding.

The official added that appropriate action will be taken against the airline.

IndiGo in a statement on Friday acknowledged the incident and issued an official apology to the aggrieved passenger, adding that the airline is engaged with the authorities on this matter

This is the second such incident reported in an Indigo flight in the last 20 days. On January 13, a passenger who had the airline’s ticket and boarding pass for an Indore-bound flight boarded a wrong flight and was taken to Nagpur airport.

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India News

Rajasthan: NEET aspirant dies after accidentally falling from 6th floor balcony in Kota, video captured on CCTV | Watch

It was reported that 22-year-old along with his friends had been playing mobile games together while they were spending time together on the balcony.

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A harrowing story has come to light from Rajasthan’s Kota where a student accidentally fell from the balcony while wearing his slippers. The student was accompanied by his friends and was sitting on the balcony.

The student has been identified as Ishanshu Bhattacharya who hailed from West Bengal’s Dhupguri region.

It was reported that the unfortunate accident unfolded late at night around 11:15 when the 4 students were getting up and retiring to their rooms. However, when the three friends got up and started to return to their rooms, things took an awry turn after that.

In the video, the 20-year-old student can be seen fetching his slippers in order to make way to his room, however, while fetching his slippers, Ishanshu slipped and fell out of the fully fenced window of the residency hotel.

The video also shows his friend realising what just happened and then rushing to see what happened, however, by that time it was too late for anything to be done as his friends can be seen in a state of panic and fear.

It was reported that the friends had been playing mobile games together while they were spending time together on the balcony.

Watch video here:

Police’s statement

The DSP, while talking about the incident, told the media that as soon as every student in the building learnt about the accident. Everyone rushed to the spot and called the hospital to take the boy to hospital.

Ishanshu was reportedly rushed to a private hospital in Talwandi, however, the doctors pronounced the 20-year-old dead upon his arrival. The police also told the media that they have informed the family about the unfortunate news and will send the body for post mortem after the family arrives.

Another incident

Another incident came to light recently from Kota where a student hung himself to death after being in a bad mental health state. The 22-year-old NEET aspirant had come to Kota to study at the coaching institute. The police found a 4-page long letter at his residence where the man’s body was recovered.

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