Ahead of the trial court's verdict in the alleged rape of a teenager by self-styled godman Asaram, who faces a minimum 10-year term if convicted, security was stepped up in Jodhpur on Wednesday, and prohibitory orders have been clamped.
Apprehending a threat to law and order, the Centre asked Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana governments to tighten security and deploy additional forces, since the three states have a large number of followers of the 77-year-old Asaram.
The Delhi Police is also on high alert ahead of the court's verdict. A senior police official said the department is keeping a close watch on Delhi's boundaries and inside the city areas, where Asaram's supporters might gather after the judgment.
Asaram is accused of raping a teenage girl from Shahajahanpur in Uttar Pradesh, who was studying at the godman's ashram at Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh. He has denied the rape charges. The victim had alleged that Asaram called her to his ashram in Manai near Jodhpur on 15 August, 2013, and raped her.
The Union home ministry has sent an advisory was sent in view of the fact that large-scale violence was witnessed in Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh last year after a special court in Mohali convicted Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim of rape.
Meanwhile, vigil was also being kept outside Asaram's ashram at Rudrapur in Uttarakhand.
Here is a timeline of how the case progressed:
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Apr 25, 2018 09:47 AM