Tight check on Asaram's followers in Jodhpur

Tight check on Asaram's followers in Jodhpur

Asaram is accused of raping a minor girl at his ashram. (Reuters file photo)

Ahead of self-styled godman Asaram Bapu's rape case verdict on April 25, the Jodhpur Police have been running from pillar to post to ensure that none of Asaram's followers are in the city when the judgement is pronounced.

Police have evacuated Asaram's main ashram in Pal village in Jodhpur. Officers have been stationed in the ashram in civil dress to keep an eye on the arrival of visitors to the ashram. 

Speaking to DH, Assistant Commissioner of Police Amandeep Singh said, "We have asked them to leave. And whoever is visiting the ashram, we ensure that their credentials are checked".

Regular caretakers — like the shopkeepers at the product outlet in the ashram, cook, gardner, etc — have been allowed to stay on in the ashram to take care of routine chores but on certain conditions.

"Our men are opening and closing the gate everyday and there is frisking at the gate," a senior police officer said.

It is to be noted that when Asaram was arrested in 2013, a large number of followers living in the ashram, which is situated in the outskirts of Jodhpur, had assembled outside the police station to create ruckus, where they also attacked mediapersons.

The Jodhpur police is also keeping a tight vigil at the bus station, railway station, airport and all entry points to Jodhpur to check the arrival of Asaram's followers.

Moreover, the hotels and guest-house owners have also been instructed to not accommodate any of the followers.

Meanwhile, in Jodhpur Central Jail, where the verdict will be pronounced on April 25, adequate arrangements have been made.Earlier, the Police had imposed section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) till April 30 in an attempt to prevent any untoward incident in the city.

The Rajasthan High Court had directed the trial court to pronounce its judgment inside the Jodhpur Central Jail to prevent breach of law and order in the city.

Asaram has been accused of raping a minor girl at his ashram. He was arrested on August 31, 2013, and since then is housed in the central jail.

He was charged under the sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. If convicted, he can get get a 10-year term.

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