Asaram verdict reactions LIVE updates: A special SC/ST court in Jodhpur on Wednesday convicted the self-proclaimed godman Asaram Bapu, who is currently lodged in Jodhpur Central Jail, in a sexual assault case against him, according to PTI. Police had made extra security arrangements along with imposing Section 144 (prevents assembly of more than four people) in the Blue city, ahead of the judgment. Keeping in mind the huge following commanded by Asaram, security has also been tightened in Gujarat and Haryana, besides Rajasthan on the orders of Ministry of Home Affairs to avoid law and order problems. Earlier, the Rajasthan High Court had passed an order, directing the trial court to pronounce its judgment inside the Jodhpur Central Jail on a petition filed by Jodhpur police. The case pertains to the alleged rape of a 16-year-old girl from Shahajahanpur of Uttar Pradesh, who in 2013, accused Asaram of sexually assaulting her on the intervening night of August 15 and 16 at his Jodhpur Ashram. A case was lodged against Asaram and four others — Sanchita alias Shilpi, Sharad Chandra alias Sharat Chandra, Prakash and Shiva alias Sava Ram Hethvadiya. Follow Asaram Bapu verdict LIVE | What is Asaram Bapu case?
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. “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.
The 77-year-old Asaram was arrested in Indore and brought to Jodhpur on September 1, 2013. He is under judicial custody since September 2, 2013. Asaram is also facing a rape case in Surat in Gujarat in which the Supreme Court earlier this month gave five weeks time to the prosecution to complete the trial. Asaram unsuccessfully moved 12 bail applications, of which six were rejected by the trial court, three by the Rajasthan high court and three by the Supreme Court.
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