On January 31, 2023, godman Asaram was sentenced to life-imprisonment by a Gandhinagar sessions court for raping a Surat-based woman at his ashram in Gujarat in 2013. The girl had filed the complaint against Asaram in October 2013 while he was in jail. The girl had mentioned seven others in her complaint including Asaram's son Narayan Sai, his wife and daughter in the complaint.
The court, however, acquitted six other including his wife, son and daughter due to lack of evidence against them.
However, Asaram is already serving life-sentence in a rape case where he is accused of sexually assaulting a girl from UP's Shahjahanpur. Back then, arresting him was a big task. And once he was arrested, several of his crimes came to light.
It was IPS officer Ajay Lamba and his team that arrested Asaram. But to nab Asaram, who had a huge following all over the country, was not an easy thing to do.
Who is Ajay Lamba? An engineer-turned-IPS-officer, Ajay Lamba is currently posted in the anti-corruption bureau. The 40-year-old headed a 11-member team in 2013 to nab Asaram.
His investigations against Asaram also led him to unearth various rackets run by Asaram under the pretext of religion by his family in Delhi, UP, MP and Rajasthan.
Ajay Lamba, in his book Gunning for the Godman, revealed that he received nearly 1,625 letters threatening him and his family that they would be killed if they decided to pursue the case against Asaram.
There was a point where his daughter couldn't go to school because of the threats, and his wife couldn't even step out of her house.
How he caught Asaram: It was August 21, 2013, when IPS officer Ajay Lamba, who was the deputy commissioner of police, Jodhpur West, received a team of Delhi Police at his office. The team from Delhi had come with a girl to register complaint against Asaram for sexually assaulting the girl.
The girl belonged to Uttar Pradesh's Shahjahanpur, and her complaint was that Asaram had raped her at his ashram in the Manai village near Jodhpur on the night of August 15, 2013.
Lamba, at first, did not believe the charges as Asaram was a highly revered personality with a massive following. But when the girl gave a clear map of Asaram's ashram at Manai village, which was 38 kms from Jodhpur, he thought how can a person give a map of the room, which is a crime scene, without visiting there? "That was the trigger point for our investigation that followed," Lamba recalled.
Once Lamba was convinced that their was some merit in what the girl from UP was saying, he started the investigation.
After Ajay Lamba and his team zeroed-in on Asaram, who was at his Ashram in Indore (MP), the entire team went there to arrest him and bring him to Jodhpur where the FIR was lodged against him.
The police officers reached the ashram and in a chaos that continued for nine hours, where Asaram threw number of tantrums to evade arrest, the Jodphur police was finally able to bring him to Rajasthan.
After bringing Asaram to Jodhpur, he wasn't given a heroic welcome like what was given to him in Indore. He was grilled of hours and the police finally filed a charge sheet against him.
The godman was finally sentenced to life-imprisonment in the case in 2018.
The 77-year old is in jail since 2013 and the court is yet to pronounce its quantum of punishment in the case of the rape of the Surat girl.