Asaram case verdict today, MHA asks 3 states to stay alert

Asaram Bapu

Asaram Bapu

The Jodhpur SC/ST court today will pronounce its verdict in a rape case against self-styled guru Asaram Bapu. Asaram and his associates, namely, Sanchita alias Shilpi, Sharad Chandra alias Sharat Chandra, Prakash and Shiva alias Sava Ram Hethvadiya have been accused to raping an underage girl of sixteen years old.

As per the guidelines of the Rajasthan High Court, the trial court will announce its decision in the Jodhpur Central Jail premises where Asaram has been served for the past over four years.

A special courtroom was set up inside the Jodhpur Central Jail for pronouncement of the verdict, due to security reasons, because Asaram has huge following across the country.

Apart from security remaining tight in Jodhpur, authorities had asked three states to be on alert and imposed prohibitory orders in sensitive areas.

In August 2013, the parents of a 16-year-old girl had filed the zero FIR against Asaram in Delhi, accusing him of raping her at his Jodhpur ashram. Asaram faces at least 10 years in jail; under the charges, he could be sentenced to life imprisonment. Besides this, we have been keeping a sharp eye on Asaram's ashrams and checking all hotels and guest houses as well as the bus and railway stations, DCP (East) Aman Deep Singh said in Jodhpur.

Apart from the rape, the controversial "godman" is also an accused in several other criminal cases, including illegal land acquisition, murder, sexual assault and black magic. The father of the victim said that he had complete faith in the judiciary and was confident that justice would be done.

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All arrangements have been made to ensure maximum security says DIG Jail Vikram Singh. Gupta was a cook and personal aide of Asaram, who is in jail since September 2013 in connection with another case of sexual assault on a minor girl in Jodhpur.

While the judge has already reached the jail premises, one follower of the self-styled Godman, who reached the prison with a garland, was detained by the cops in the wee hours of Wednesday morning.

Both the roads towards the Central jail where Asaram Bapu is lodged have been sealed and access outside the jail has been given only to the media. 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.

Asaram had been charged under the POSCO and Sc/ST Atrocities Act. "She stood by her testimony throughout the trial", he told NDTV. Four days later, a key witness, Kripal Singh was shot at by two motorcycle-borne people in Shahjahanpur.

The investigating team, he says, filed its first chargesheet in the Asaram rape case in a little over 10 weeks. He was supposed to give his statement.