South Asian Insider
Asaram's followers removed from Jodhpur ashram ahead of 2012 rape case verdict
In a bid to nip any untoward incident that might erupt in wake of the upcoming verdict in the 2012 rape case against Asaram, the Jodhpur administration drove out the self-styled Godman's followers from his ashram in the city over the weekend. Reportedly, only 25 people are left in Asaram Bapu's Jodhpur ashram now. With a special SC/ST court in Jodhpur all set to pronounce its verdict in the 2012 rape case on April 25, the authorities are slated to deploy scores of security personnel to ensure that his followers do no create any law and order problem in the city. This comes in tow of several other precautionary measures being undertaken by the authorities. On April 21, the Rajasthan High Court allowed a plea by the state police for pronouncement of the verdict in the premises of the Jodhpur central jail, where Asaram is lodged. In addition, Section 144 of the CrPC has been enforced in the city till the evening of April 30, police said. DCP (East) Aman Deep Singh said the efforts of the police would be directed at keeping Asaram's followers out of the city. "We are apprehensive about the convergence of the followers in large numbers here as they can be a threat to the law and order," said Singh. Besides this, the police are also keeping a watch on Asaram's ashrams in Palgaon and Manai village where the alleged crime took place. On the other hand, the district administration in Uttar Pradesh's Shahjahanpur has stepped up security outside the victim's house. A teenage girl had accused Asaram of sexual assault at his ashram in Manai village near Jodhpur. The girl, who belonged to Shahjahanpur was a student living in the ashram then. Asaram, who is in jail since August 31, 2013 was charged under relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
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