The once-powerful Asaram is now 'Qaidi No-130' after teary trialLast updated on Apr 26, 2018, 10:16 am
For Asaram, yesterday was a significant day: the court was going to pronounce judgement in a five-year-old rape case against him.
He was likely expecting a positive outcome: before proceedings started, he was smiling, chatting and even laughing loudly, reports HT.
Five hours later, on being sentenced, he broke down crying.
Now he has a new identity: Qaidi No 130 at Jodhpur Central Jail.
Five-years ago, the 'godman' made his followers clash with cops
The 'godman' has always had a tendency to expect privilege and power. When police arrived at his Indore ashram on September 1, 2013, to arrest him for raping a 16-year-old, he let his followers clash with cops and journalists while he hid inside.
Many were injured and arrested.
In the five years he has been in prison, witnesses kept being attacked; three even died.
Asaram chatted and laughed as he stood in the witness-box
Yesterday, the hearing started around 9:30am. There were 30 people in the courtroom in the jail premises: the judge, one public-prosecutor, five accused, 17 advocates and six staff.
Asaram stood in the witness-box with his associates. He was chatting and laughing.
Once the proceedings started, he started chanting mantras.
But his prayers didn't work: slightly more than an hour later, he was held guilty.
Five hours later, Asaram was in tears
Asaram was now looking worried, said those present. Then began arguments over punishment.
The defense said he was old, had done "great social service," and had letters of praise from the president.
The other side argued he's a 'gunda' (thug) and a 'shaitan' (devil).
Arguments ended around 12:20pm. At 2pm, when the judge sentenced Asaram to life, he removed his headgear and started crying.
800km away, Asaram was losing landmarks named after him
Asaram, who was allotted number 130 by the Jodhpur jail officials in the evening, is set to lose more recognition.
MP has decided to rechristen two places in Bhopal named after the 'godman'- a road crossing and a bus stand near his ashram beside the Raja Bhoj Airport.
The board of the bus stand, which said 'Asaram Bapu Bus Stop,' has already been removed.
Asaram's 'crores' of followers promise to retaliate, 'shunt out BJP'
His followers still haven't stopped fighting. They released a press note, warning "Bapuji's crores of followers will shunt out the BJP in the coming elections."
"There might be a political interest involved here in view of the upcoming elections. The party may be trying to save its skin and take credit," it read.
According to some estimates, Asaram has nearly 4cr followers.