Tomorrow, on Wednesday, a special court in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur will deliver its verdict against Asaram Bapu, the spiritual guru known to his followers, on charges of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl at his ashram near Jodhpur.
Ahead of the verdict in the rape case of a 16-year-old girl involving self-styled godman Asaram Bapu, security has been beefed up in Jodhpur. As mandated by the Rajasthan High Court on Tuesday, the verdict in the case will be announced from inside the Jodhpur Central jail premises.
The Rajasthan High court had also directed the jail superintendent to make necessary arrangements inside the Central jail premises. As a precautionary measure to prevent a breach of law and order situation in the city, police 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. While entry points to the city have been sealed, authorities evacuated Asaram’s ashram located on the outskirts of the city.
A day ahead of the verdict self-styled godman Asaram Bapu on Tuesday appealed to his followers to not throng Jodhpur Central prison and maintain peace and harmony. A press note from Sant Sri Asaramji Ashram Trust in Delhi said any person who indulges in anarchy cannot be a devotee of Asaram Bapu. The note impressed upon his followers to exercise restraint and do nothing that creates an obstacle in the process of justice. It further said that “visiting Jodhpur would be a waste of time, money and energy” and stated that “Bapuji is innocent and will soon be among us” again.
Controversial self-styled Godman Asaram Bapu, who has been in jail since his arrest in 2013, if the prosecution proves the rape charges against him and convicted in the case, is likely to get a jail sentence of 10 years. Police have also tightened the security of the complainant, taking note of attacks on various case witnesses in the past. Three witnesses have died so far.
Meanwhile, a Jodhpur court banned the entry of media persons inside the Central Jail for coverage of the Asaram Bapu case judgment. A petition was filed in the court seeking the entry of media persons in Jodhpur Central Jail.
The godman faces another rape case in Surat where two girls have lodged a complaint against Asaram and his son Narayan Sai, accusing them of rape and illegal confinement.