New Delhi, April 25: In a very important development, a special Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe court on Wednesday convicted self-styled godman Asaram Bapu in a 2013 minor girl rape case.
According to police sources, co-accused Shiva and Shilpi have been convicted and Sharad and Prakash have been acquitted.
Strict security was in place outside Jodhpur Central Jail where the verdict was pronounced. The road leading to the jail is out of bounds for people.
A supported of Asaram was detained when he reached near the jail and tried to put a garland on his poster, but the policemen nabbed him. The poster was put on a wall of a corridor outside the jail boundary where the family members of prisoners wait. The supporter managed to reach there despite high-security arrangements.
The case against Asaram pertains to allegations of rape levelled by a minor girl in 2013. The victim, belonging to Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh, was staying at Asaram’s ashram in Manai village near Jodhpur.
The district administration has stepped up security near the house of the victim. “Five policemen have been deployed at the house and a strict vigil is being maintained,” SP (City) Dinesh Tripathi has said.
On the otherhand, The Jodhpur police had enforced prohibitory orders under Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code in the city till April 30, stopped entry of Asaram’s followers and evacuated his ashram at Palgaon on the outskirts of the town to prevent any untoward incident.
The Home Ministry had asked Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana to tighten security and deploy additional forces ahead of the verdict. The Ministry told the three States to beef up security. and ensure that no violence takes place after the verdict. They were also told to deploy additional forces in sensitive places. These States have a large number of Asaram followers. (KNB)