- "We were threatened": Rape survivor's school principal tells NDTV
- "They wanted girl's date of birth to be manipulated," says principal
- Asaram charged under POCSO Act, has been sentenced to life term
The principal of the girl's school has told NDTV he was under a lot of pressure to falsify the girl's date of birth in the school records.
"I was pressured, threatened... have suffered mentally and physically," the principal of the school in Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh, told NDTV. "I received threatening letters. I was to mention the date of birth as in the records, they wanted it to be manipulated."
Asaram has been charged under POCSO - a stringent law to protect children from sexual assaults. Under the law, he faces a maximum punishment of life imprisonment.
Today, ahead of the sentencing, his lawyers argued that the girl was 18 years old in 2013, when the sexual assault took place. "There is enough evidence that she is above 18. If the court holds that she is above 18, the Juvenile Act and POCSO laws will not be applicable," said Asaram's counsel Vikas Pahwa.
"It would have been good had the verdict come out post-ordinance, but it is a welcome step," said senior Congress leader Renuka Choudhary, adding, "It is good that law caught up with Asaram; people like him destroy people."
Asaram had assaulted the girl after she was taken to his Jodhpur ashram in 2013 on the pretext of exorcism. Over the years that followed, nine people who agreed to testify against him in court were attacked. Three of them died. Even police officers who investigated the case and local mediapersons who reported on it, said they received threats.