The Centre on Tuesday asked the governments of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana to step up security a day before a Jodhpur court is set to deliver its verdict in a rape case against Asaram, PTI reported. The police have also banned the assembly of more than four people in Jodhpur under the provisions of Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code or CrPC, The Indian Express reported.
Asaram is facing two rape cases – one in Gujarat and the other in Rajasthan. The case against him in Rajasthan was filed after a 16-year-old accused Asaram of raping her in 2013. Her parents, both devotees of the religious leader, had taken her to his Jodhpur ashram for a healing ritual. The girl said Asaram sexually assaulted her on August 15, 2013, and threatened her family not to report the crime. He was arrested later that month, and has been in a jail in Jodhpur since.
In Gujarat, two sisters from Surat filed two separate complaints against Asaram and his son Narayan Sai, accusing them of rape and illegal confinement.
On Tuesday, the Home Ministry told the three states – which have a large number of Asaram followers – to increase security and ensure no violence takes place after the verdict. The ministry’s advisory is an attempt to prevent the kind of largescale violence that broke out in Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh after a special court held Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim guilty of rape in August 2017.
Delhi Police’s Chief Public Relations Officer Deepender Pathak told ANI that teams were on alert and ready to be deployed if required. “All officers will be present in their areas”, Pathak said.