Jaipur, Apr 24: Rajasthan has turned into a fortress ahead of the verdict in Asaram Bapu rape case. The Jodhpur Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribe Court will deliver its verdict in the rape case against the self-styled godman on April 25, i.e., tomorrow. The Rajasthan High Court as well as the police have stepped up security across the state to avoid any untoward incident during the pronouncement of verdict on Wednesday. Security has also been tightened around the alleged victim’s house in Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh.
The Jodhpur Police have said said that Section 144 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) will be imposed in Jodhpur till April 30. “Rajasthan High Court made arrangements for judgement in Asaram rape case to be pronounced inside Jodhpur Central Jail on April 25. Section 144 of CRPC will be imposed in Jodhpur till April 30.We appeal to the public to follow the order. More than four people can’t assemble in public,” police said.
The district administration in Shahjahanpur has stepped up security around the house of the victim. “The security of the victim’s family is continuously being monitored…Five policemen have been deployed at the house and a strict vigil is being maintained on all the visitors,” SP (City) Dinesh Tripathi told PTI. “I am personally reviewing the security as the court judgement likely to come soon and officials are in touch with the family,” the Superintendent of Police (SP) said.
On April 17, the court had decided to pronounce the verdict against self-styled godman in the rape case in Jodhpur Central Jail to avoid any law and order situation in the state. The police had earlier filed a petition in the high court stating that Rajasthan may witness Panchkula-like violence, which broke out after the conviction of controversial godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a rape case.
The teenaged girl had accused Asaram of sexual assault at his ashram in Manai village near Jodhpur. The girl was a student living in the ashram. Asaram, who has been in jail since August 31, 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, Asaram faces a maximum sentence of 10 years.
Ahead of the verdict, his followers are coming out in his support on social media platforms. A day before the verdict, the hashtag #BogusCaseOnAsaramBapuji was trending on Twitter.