Security tightened at Jodhpur Central Jail ahead of judgment

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As a Jodhpur court is set to pronounce its verdict in the rape case against self-styled godman Asaram on April 25, his former aide Mahendra Chawla has alleged life threats from Asaram and his supporters and demanded more security for him and his family. Therefore, Rajasthan High Court, as well as Police, have increased the security in the state to avoid any riots or illegal steps taken by the followers during the pronouncement of the verdict. The verdict will be delivered by the trial court at the Jodhpur Central Jail here.

Prohibitory orders have already been issued in Jodhpur and police conducted a flag march around the jail on Tuesday.

Apart from Jodhpur, security has also been beefed up in neighboring areas of Gujarat, and Haryana.

Home ministry officials said the three states, where Asaram has a considerable number of followers, have been specifically asked to deploy additional security personnel to contain any untoward incident in case of an adverse verdict by the court on Wednesday. But of the 12 bail applications, six were rejected by trial court, three by the Rajasthan High Court and three by the Supreme Court.

The Home Ministry advisory has been sent in view of the large-scale violence was witnessed in Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh after a special court pronounced its verdict in a rape case against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim a year ago. Final arguments in the case had been completed by the special court for SC/ST cases on April 7.

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

Shahjahanpur: A court in Rajasthan will decide today if self-styled godman Asaram - who runs 400 ashrams across India - was guilty of raping a 16-year-old five years ago. A vigil is being kept outside Asaram's ashram at Rudrapur.

Asaram was arrested in Indore and brought to Jodhpur on 1 September, 2013. If convicted, he could be jailed for a maximum of 10 years. Earlier in 2013, the Supreme Court had refused to entertain a plea of Asaram for restraining the media from covering the sexual assault case against him. All field formations of police put on alert.

In February 2015, Rahul K Sachan, a witness in the case was stabbed outside the local court. He has been in judicial custody ever since. He was charged with the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

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