Asaram rape case: Jodhpur Court to pronounce verdict today

Self-styled spiritual gurul Asaram greets his supporters at a court hearing in 2015

Self styled godman Asaram ahead of the verdict in the rape case of 16-year-old girl has urged his followers to maintain calm and peace and not to do anything which can disrupt the law and order situation.

Notably, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana have a large number of followers of the self-styled godman.

The police have also imposed Section 144 in Jodhpur until April 30, under which the assembly of more than four people at any place has been banned.

Entry to Jodhpur is being strictly monitored, with security vigil at bus and train stations stepped up and Asaram's ashrams in the city's vicinity cleared out.

The three states Government have been asked to deploy para-military force if needed.

"We have got all measures in place and adequate arrangements have been made to ensure that there are no disruptions. All officers will be present in their areas", informed Delhi Police CPRO Deepender Pathak. Narayan Sai in December 2013 admits to rape charge in the Surat case.

The Delhi Police said today it is on high alert ahead of a trial court's verdict in Jodhpur tomorrow in the alleged rape of a teenager by self-styled godman Asaram, who faces a minimum 10-year prison term if convicted.

Asaram was arrested in Indore and brought to Jodhpur on September 1, 2013. He has been in judicial custody ever since. Two sexual assault cases were filed against Asaram in Rajasthan and Gujarat. In an autobiography titled Sant Asaram Bapuji ki Jeevan Jhanki, which was published by his ashram, Asaram received formal education until his father's death and had studied only until Class III.

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13 February 2015: A witness in Jodhpur case, Rahul K Sachan, stabbed outside the local court.

Asumal Sirumalani, who later came to be known as Asaram Bapu by his followers, is a religious leader who preaching in the early 1970s. After starting to preach in the early 1970s, he went on to establish over 400 ashrams in India and overseas and has numerous followers. In the following years, he had lived at a series of ashrams and ran away from home to an ashram in Bharuch at the age of 15.

The book also talks about Lilashah, a spiritual guru, who accepted him as her disciple and named him Asaram Bapu on 7 October, 1964, reports said. 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 police had filed a petition in the high court stating that Rajasthan may witness Panchkula-like violence, which broke out after the conviction of controversial godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a rape case.

On July 8 in 2015, a witness, Sudha Pathan turned hostile and told the court that she had no knowledge about Asaram's activities. He was supposed to give his statement.

Early 2014: Trial begins in the Jodhpur rape case.

Judge reaches Jodhpur Central Jail to pronounce verdict. His supporters created a ruckus outside court against the order. Asaram's supporters will not be allowed to gather outside the jail.

Asaram, 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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