Rapist Gurmeet Skipped Dinner In Jail

Over 30 congregation centres of Dera Sacha Sauda sealed HC slams Khattar govt over violence

The CBI has successfully kept the identity of the two victims under wraps since 2002 when the rapes came to light through an anonymous letter by two women, residing in the Dera as sadhvis, alleging rape by the Dera chief.

To avoid more trouble it was decided that CBI Judge Jagdeep Singh should pronounce the sentence in the jail, rather than bring Ram Rahim back to his court in Panchkula, near Chandigarh.

As Ram Rahim Singh was "a very influential figure", the judge said "he must be sentenced appropriately to send a deterring message for potential offenders". So, the court convicted him for 10 years and charged 14 lakhs each to the victims.

"My father's case is also being heard by the same judge who convicted the Dera head in two rape cases".

Singh faces a minimum of seven years in prison. They turned to his sect for basics like food, medicine and a sense of equality, and their guru's conviction was an unimaginable fall from grace. However, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh wasn't sentenced under the provision of the current law as the case against him predated the new law.

Police in Haryana had orders to shoot protesters on sight ahead of the sentencing and forced the hearing to be carried out inside the prison where Singh was being held. Adequate security arrangements are in place. "Security personnel have been given a free hand to react according to the need of the situation", a senior police officer told NDTV.

While Haryana state was represented by Advocate General Baldev Raj Mahajan, Punjab AG Atul Nanda represented the state and the Dera's counsel was also present. It is their testimony that finally nailed the 50-year-old spiritual leader who was given 20 years in jail for his crimes by a CBI court on Monday. The group claims to have more than 70 million followers globally.

In the small town of Sirsa, located 150 miles away from Panchula, thousands of devotees have gathered at the group's headquarters.

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Maharaj added that if the situation worsens, it should not be the state but the court that is held responsible for more violence. A curfew has been imposed in Patiala, Panchkula, Sirsa, Bhatinda, Ferozpur, Sirsa and Mansa, according to The Quint .

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During the 2017 Punjab assembly election, the sect directed its followers to vote for the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP coalition. But the party couldn't retain power despite the dera followers might behind it.

May 2007: Charged with hurting religious sentiments by addressing followers in Salabatpura in bhatinda by dressing like sikh guru Gobind Singh.

Apart from the rape charges against him, Ram Rahim Singh denies charges of murder in two cases due to be heard next month.

With the Dera chief behind the bars, the future of employees working in various hospitals, institutes and factories run by the Dera is at stake. Inside the gufa, the woman found Ram Rahim watching television with a pistol by his side. So, the Court gave the verdict after listening to this.

The court then stated that it can not pass an order for the same as it was under the purview of the state government or jail authorities to decide that. The Punjab government has pegged the losses at ₹200 crore, and plans to recover the cost from the Dera.

"Some people are still inside the Dera in Sirsa... they are slowly coming out".

Mahajan informed the court that 1,039 people have been arrested and 63 FIRs registered, 103 Dera centres sanitised so far. The other sections have imprisonment for two and one years, respectively.

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