Security Stepped up in Jodhpur Ahead of Asaram’s Rape Case Verdict
The Jodhpur police have stepped up security in the city ahead of the verdict in the rape case against self-styled godman Asaram. The judgement will be pronounced inside the Jodhpur Central Jail on 25 April.
In a bid to avoid any law and order situation, Section 144 of the CrPC will be imposed in Jodhpur till April 30. The city police also appealed the public to follow the order, according to which more than four people cannot assemble in public places.
The district administration has also beefed up security around the house of the victim.
The SP added, "I am personally reviewing the security as the court judgment likely to come soon and officials are in touch with the family."
Earlier this month, Judge Madhu Sudan Sharma of the Jodhpur court heard the final arguments from the prosecution and defence counsels for five months and reserved the order for 25 April.
Earlier, the court had heard a plea filed by the Rajasthan Police requesting the judiciary not to pronounce the judgment in the case from the court as it may lead to clashes between the security forces and the godman's followers in the court premises.
In its application, the police had stated that there would be a huge presence of Asaram's followers in the city on judgment day, and that the followers might indulge in arson after the verdict is pronounced.
The forces also noted in their plea that such a step was also be necessary for the safety and security of Asaram and the general public. The special SC/ST trial court had completed the final arguments in the case on 7 April.
The teenaged girl had accused Asaram of sexually assaulting her at his ashram in Manai village near Jodhpur. The girl, who hailed from Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh, was a student living in the ashram.
Asaram, who has been in jail since 31 August 2013, was charged under relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 10 years.
Asaram is also facing a rape case in Gujarat. Earlier, the apex court had refused to grant him bail on various grounds in the two sexual assault cases lodged in Rajasthan and Gujarat.
Two Surat-based sisters had lodged separate complaints against Asaram and his son, Narayan Sai, accusing them of rape and illegal confinement, among other charges.
(With inputs from PTI)
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