Security stepped up around victim's house, verdict to be out soon

by Garry Watts April 25, 2018, 7:56
Security stepped up around victim's house, verdict to be out soon

With less than an hour left for a Jodhpur Court to pronounce verdict in self-styled godman Asaram Bapu's rape case, we must recall how Panchkula plunged into chaos after a special CBI court convicted self-styled godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a rape case.

Final arguments in the case had been completed on April 7 and the court had kept the order reserved to be pronounced on April 25.

Apprehending a threat to law and order, the Centre asked Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana governments to tighten security and deploy additional forces as the three states have a large number of followers of the 77-year-old Asaram. Security has also been stepped up around the victim's house in Shahajahanpur.

Supreme Court rejects Asaram's bail plea.

On August 31, Jodhpur police arrested Asaram, who was later sent to jail by a court. Asaram had several high profile followers with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Rajasthan chief minister, Vasundhara Raje Scindia and other top BJP leaders frequently paying visits to his ashram in the past. "The magistrate along with court staff, Asaram and the co-accused along with the defence and prosecution counsels will remain present in the courtroom in the jail premises", he added.

Asharam Bapu was arrested in 2013 after a minor girl from Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh had reported sexual assault by him in his ashram on the outskirts of Jodhpur. The victim alleged that she was raped by Asaram on the night of August 15, 2013. Asaram's supporters will not be allowed to gather outside the jail. He has been in judicial custody ever since.

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In November 2013, the Jodhpur police filed a chargesheet against Asaram and four co-accused in the rape case.

October 2013: Two complaints of rape filed against Asaram and his son Narayan Sai by three women in Gujarat's Surat and Ahmedabad.

The Santi Sri Asaramji Ashram Trust in Delhi in a media note has issued advisories to Asaram followers asking them not to indulge in any kind of activities which could disturb the nation. "She stood by her testimony throughout the trial", he told NDTV.

Early 2014: Trial begins in the Jodhpur rape case.

February 13, 2015: Rahul Sachan, a key witness in the case, attacked by an unidentified man with a knife in Jodhpur court premises.

12 July 2015: Kripal Singh, a third witness, shot dead at in Shahjahanpur. He 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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