Jodhpur: Wednesday is a big day for self-styled godman Asaram. A trial court here is slated to pronounce its verdict in the rape case of a teenager in which the 77-year-old Asaram is accused. The verdict will be delivered by the trial court at the Jodhpur Central Jail here. If convicted, Asaram faces a minimum 10 years’ jail term.
Security has been stepped up here ahead of the verdict. The Ministry of Home Affairs has asked the governments in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana to deploy additional forces as it suspects the followers of Asaram, who are in large numbers, might create law and order problems.
The MHA wrote to the three states asking them to step up security and make sure no violence is allowed to occur post the judgement today. Keeping in view law and order situation, the Rajasthan High Court had asked the trial court to pronounce its judgement inside the Jodhpur Central Jail premises where Asaram has been lodged for the last more than four years.
“We have made all arrangements for the judgment day,” DIG Jail Vikram Singh said. “The magistrate along with court staff, Asaram and the co-accused along with the defence and prosecution counsels will remain present in the courtroom in the jail premises,” he added.
“We have imposed Section 144 of CrPC in the city from April 21 and it would remain effective till April 30. Besides this, we have been keeping a sharp eye on Asaram’s ashrams and checking all hotels and guest houses as well as the bus and railway stations,” DCP (East) Aman Deep Singh said in Jodhpur. “We will also seal the jail on the day of judgment and would not allow anyone to get close to the jail premises,” he added.
Prayers underway at Asaram’s ashram in Bhopal. A follower of Asaram from Rajasthan who had reached Jodhpur Central Jail with a garland has been detained by Police. Security tightened at Jodhpur jail ahead of Asaram Bapu’s case verdict.