HW English

Jodhpur turns into a fortress prior to Asaram rape case verdict

As the Asaram Bapu rape case comes close to a conclusion, Rajasthan police have tightened security measures in Jodhpur, setting up checkpoints at all exit and entry points to the district, and beefing the cover around Asaram’s ashram as well as Jodhpur Central Jail, where he is lodged.

The verdict in the rape case of a 16-year-old girl involving self-styled godman Asaram Bapu is to be announced from inside the jail premises, as mandated by the Rajasthan High Court.  As an additional precautionary measure police has imposed section 144 in Jodhpur till April 30, banning the assembly of more than four people at a place. A close vigil is being kept at bus and railway stations along with hotels in the city.

The court had also directed the jail superintendent to make necessary arrangements inside the premises. “It cannot be said that (Asaram’s) followers will not create hurdle or unhealthy atmosphere which may create not only hardship and inconvenience to the public at large of Jodhpur city but also law and order problem,” the court said in its order.

Asaram was booked for a minor’s rape under relevant sections of IPC, Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the Prevention of Atrocities (against SC/ST) Act following a complaint against him by a girl from Shahjahanpur in UP who had stayed at Asaram’s ashram as a student.

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