Tight security in three states ahead of verdict in Asaram Bapu case

Tight security in three states ahead of verdict in Asaram Bapu case

Kerry Wise
April 25, 2018

Asaram runs around 400 ashrams across the country. He is accused in three cases of rape.

Asaram and all other accused have been convicted by Jodhpur Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Court in a 2013 rape case. Adequate forces will immediately be deployed if required.

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

In a communication, the Home Ministry told the three states, Gujarat, Haryana and Rajasthan, to beef up security and ensure that no violence takes place after the judgment tomorrow.

Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana have a large number of followers of Asaram.

Asaram was represented in the court by eminent lawyers such as Ram Jethmalani and Subramanian Swamy. Over the course of 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.

The verdict in the case will be pronounced within the jail premises as ordered by the Rajasthan High Court and massive security arrangements have been made in the city. The girl was a student in his ashram.

Meanwhile, the deceased's father Naresh Gupta said, "I am confident that justice will be given to the victim today in Jodhpur case".

The family had been tricked into sending the girl, who was studying at one of Asaram's ashram in Chhindwara, to the ashram in Jodhpur, in August 2013. Asaram received formal education until his father's death and had studied only until the third grade.

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29 August 2013: Asaram claims that "madam and son" are targeting him.

Both the roads towards the Central jail where Asaram is lodged have been sealed and only mediapersons are allowed outside the jail.

Asaram, who is facing charges of trafficking, rape, and sexual crimes against children, could face a maximum punishment of life imprisonment.

In February 2014, the judge hearing the Asaram rape case dropped Section 26 of the Juvenile Justice Act, which pertains to exploitation of juveniles/child labour. He has been under judicial custody since 2 September, 2013.

Trial in the case began in early 2014.

He adds that one of the accused, arrested for killing a witness in the case, confessed that his next target was Chanchal Mishra, the then deputy superintendent of police with Jodhpur Police and investigating officer in the case.

11 June 2014: Former Asaram aide and witness in Surat case, Amrut Prajapati, shot at in a Rajkot hospital.

Jyoti Singh, who later died from injuries sustained in the attack, became known as Nirbhaya, meaning "fearless" in Hindi.

In February 2015, Rahul K Sachan, a witness in the case was stabbed outside the local court.