Police in Jodhpur have made extra security arrangements as a special SC/ST court is set to pronounce its verdict in a sexual assault case against self-proclaimed godman Asaram Bapu and four of his associates on Wednesday.
With all vehicles entering Jodhpur being monitored and checked for supporters of Asaram, the city has turned into a fortress. The police have already imposed Section 144 in the city to prevent any assembly of people that could result in untoward incidents. “We are patrolling and checking all places of stay in the city. We have also put checkposts at various strategic points to see incoming vehicles,” said Jodhpur police commissioner Ashok Rathore. He added that the police are constantly gathering intelligence to make sure that everything remains peaceful on Wednesday.
“We have got six companies of force from the state apart from the police personnel of the Jodhpur commissionerate who have been deployed,” said Rathore. The special SC/ST court, Jodhpur metro, had reserved the verdict for April 25 after the final arguments were completed on April 7.
Read | What is Asaram Bapu case?
Back in 2013, a 16-year-old girl had accused Asaram of rape on the intervening night of August 15 and 16 at an ashram of Asaram in Jodhpur. A case was lodged against Asaram and four others – Sanchita alias Shilpi, Sharad Chandra alias Sharat Chandra, Prakash and Shiva alias Sava Ram Hethvadiya – who were associates of Asaram at that time.
“All the other accused apart from Asaram and another man are currently out on bail and their fate will also be decided in the verdict of Wednesday,” said PC Solanki, advocate of the victim in the case.
Earlier, the Rajasthan High Court had passed an order, directing the trial court to pronounce its judgment inside the Jodhpur Central Jail after the Jodhpur police filed a petition requesting the same citing security reasons. The police in Jodhpur are on the lookout for Asaram supporters in the city who might create law and order problems.