Asaram plea for mercy


Jodhpur: Self-styled godman Asaram, convicted of raping a minor girl, has sent a mercy plea to the governor of Rajasthan seeking dilution of his life sentence.

Governor Kalyan Singh, who recently received Asaram's mercy plea, sent it to the home department for a detailed report.

On April 25, a Jodhpur court had sentenced Asaram to life in prison after finding him guilty of raping the teenager in his ashram five years ago.

Asaram, who is in his seventies, had challenged the sentence in the high court on July 2 but the petition is yet to be listed for hearing.

According to his mercy petition, Asaram has pleaded for a dilution of his life term, citing his age and terming it a "gruelling" punishment.

The home department has forwarded the plea to the Jodhpur Central Jail administration, which, in turn, has sought a report from the district administration and police.

"We have received Asaram's mercy plea. We have sought a report from the district administration and police on this mercy plea," Jodhpur Central Jail superintendent Kailash Trivedi said.

After it receives the report, the jail administration will send it to Rajasthan's director-general (jails).

The 16-year-old girl had said in her complaint that Asaram had called her to his ashram in Manai near Jodhpur and raped her on the night of August 15, 2013. The teenager from Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh was studying at Asaram's ashram in Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh. PTI


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