Close on the heels of Supreme Court questioning the tardy pace of trial in a case involving self-styled godman Asaram Bapu, the district administration has bolstered the security of the rape victim in Shahjahanpur.
“Two more security personnel have been deployed at the residence of the rape victim and now half a dozen police personnel, including a lady constable, will remain on duty,” Superintendent of Police KB Singh said.
Bullet proof jackets have also been made available to two personnel so that they can move about to check security arrangements, he said.
The SP said that security had been provided to the entire family and he himself was monitoring it.
The father of the victim, however, alleged that he has been making requests for an arms licence for his son ever since the incident took place but to no avail. He stressed that it was important for their security.
He also sought additional security for local scribe Narendra Yadav, who had actively covered the entire incident in a local daily, as he had been given only one security guard. He needs to be given proper security as per the SC directives, the victim’s father said.
The 16-year-old Shahjahanpur girl had alleged rape against Asaram in his Jodhpur ashram and had lodged a case in this regard in Delhi’s Kamla Market police station which was later transferred to Jodhpur.
On August 28, a Supreme Court bench comprising justices N V Ramanna and Amitava Roy had questioned the delay in the trial of the rape case involving the godman asking the state government as to why the victim had not been examined till now.
The top court had earlier refused to grant bail to Asaram on various grounds including his poor health in two separate sexual assault cases lodged in Rajasthan and Gujarat.
The apex court, while dismissing his bail plea on January 30, had observed that Asaram had placed a “fictitious document” to persuade the court to grant him bail and had ordered registration of an FIR against those responsible for preparing and filing the alleged fake papers.
Two Surat-based sisters had lodged separate complaints against Asaram and his son Narayan Sai, accusing them of rape and illegal confinement, among other charges.
In the case in Rajasthan, a teenage girl had accused him of sexual assault at his ashram in Manai village near Jodhpur. The girl, who belonged to Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh, was a student living in the ashram.
The apex court had noted that trial in the matter was unnecessarily prolonged and the prosecution witnesses were being attacked.
The apex court had on November 18 last year sought the response of the Centre and five states on a plea seeking a CBI probe into the alleged murder of children and attacks on ten witnesses in the Asaram rape cases.
Asaram was arrested by Jodhpur Police on August 31, 2013 and has been in jail since then.