He was also convicted on charges of criminal conspiracy and wrongful confinement, following a trial in Jodhpur, in western India. The convicted guru has 230 ashrams across India, the UK, the US, Kenya, Uganda and Canada. He was held in jail during last five years. Asaram was arrested in 2013 after a girl from Uttar Pradesh’s Shahjahanpur, then 16 years old and a Class 12 student at his Chhindwara Ashram in Madhya Pradesh, filed a complaint accusing Asaram of rape at his ashram in Manai village on the Jodhpur outskirts on the night of August 15, 2013.
Three witnesses who testified against Sirumalani and his son have been murdered, and another six attacked by Sirumalani’s followers. The young woman who first accused him lives under heavy police protection in Uttar Pradesh, a state in north India. She told the police that Sirumalani had warned her that her family would be in grave danger if she told them what happened. In 2008 the mutilated bodies of four young boys were found at one of Sirumalani’s schools for children. Following Asaram’s conviction, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that nobody is above the law and promised “appropriate action” on an activist’s demand that two places in Bhopal named after the jailed preacher be renamed.