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Jodhpur turns into fortress ahead of verdict in rape case involving Asaram
Followers of the self-styled godman Asaram have been asked to engage in prayers ahead of the court verdict in the alleged rape case of a 16-year-old girl. The Jodhpur SC/ST Court is expected to deliver its verdict in the rape case against the self-styled godman on Wednesday.

Security has been beefed up in Rajasthan and Jodhpur has turned into a fortress ahead of the verdict to avoid any untoward incident. Jodhpur Police has imposed Section 144 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CRPC) in Jodhpur till April 30, which prohibits the assembly of four or more people at a spot. Authorities have also sealed entry points to the city. The district administration in Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh has also stepped up security around the house of the victim.

Asaram, who has been in jail since his arrest on 31 August 2013, was charged under certain sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, and is likely to be sentenced to 10 years if the prosecution proves the rape charges against him. Asaram has been accused of sexually assaulting a minor girl over a period of nine years. The girl was a student living in the ashram in Manai village.

The special SC/ST trial court had completed the final arguments in the case on 7 April. To avoid any law and order situation in the state the verdict in the case will be announced from inside Jodhpur Central Jail premises, as mandated by the Rajasthan High Court.

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