Asaram rape case: Jodhpur Police to impose Section 144 ahead of verdict, judgment to be pronounced from inside jail
The Rajasthan High Court on Tuesday had directed the trial court, hearing a sexual assault case against Asaram Bapu, to pronounce its judgment inside the Jodhpur Central Jail to prevent a breach of law and order situation in the city.
In a bid to prevent any untoward incident before the self-styled godman Asaram Bapu’s rape case verdict on April 25, Jodhpur Police on Saturday said they will impose Section 144 till April 30, reported news agency ANI. As per the order, more than four people cannot assemble at one place in public, said police. Meanwhile, arrangements for pronouncing the verdict is being done within the jail premises.
The Rajasthan High Court on Tuesday had directed the trial court, hearing a sexual assault case against Asaram Bapu, to pronounce its judgment inside the Jodhpur Central Jail to prevent a breach of law and order situation 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.
Ahead of the judgment, the district administration has tightened the 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 was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
The order to pronounce verdict from inside the jail premises came following the request by the police requesting that it cannot be delivered in the court premises as it may lead to clashes between security personnel and the godman’s followers. The precautions have been taken by keeping in view the clashes that broke out last year following the verdict in Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh case where he was awarded two consecutive 10 years terms.
In its application, the police had stated that there would be a huge presence of Asaram’s followers in the city on the judgment day and that they might indulge in vandalism after the pronouncement in the case.
Asaram, who is in jail since August 31, 2013, was charged under the sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 10 years.