Bangalore: Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the Indian Guru is the head of the social group Dera Sacha Sauda (DSS) which is the controversial sect that describe itself as pan-religious. He also starred in movies and music albums which were directed by him as a chief of DSS. Even though, he has often been accused of mocking Hindu and Sikh religious figures, a conviction made by special CBI for raping two of his disciples ended him up in jail.
The so-called self-styled Godman has a vast number of followers and delirious devotees, who would gather at his 1000 acred headquarters in Sirsa in Haryana to hear up his lectures and to get his blessings.
The followers nicknamed him “Pita-ji” or “Respected Father” and followed his mantra of leading a simple life by eschewing meat and alcohol. His purported simple life however was often disturbed by recurring charges of rape, investigation for castration, violence and murder which were later covered up by the followers of his empire. He was also accused in the murder of the journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati who uncovered this news and who was shot dead on a point blank range.
In 2002, an anonymous letter was sent to then Prime Minster Atal Bihari Vajpayee which carried the information about Ram Rahim being allegedly raping his disciples. Even though, the case was taken over by CBI, it took years for them to find the alleged victims when two women, in 2007 came up and filed a complaint against Ram Rahim. They were currently protected under Witness protection law along with police escort.
On Friday, August 25, 2017, Ram Rahim was convicted for raping two of his own followers in Panchkula where the court announced its decision, triggered a deadly violence in Sirsa and other parts of Haryana and some parts of Punjab, by his mob Dera followers. As per the report more than 38 innocent people have been killed in the violence.
On Monday, August 28,2017, ahead of announcement of sentence in Rohtak district, Section 144 was imposed in 11 districts of Delhi and a shoot on sight order was also imposed when any unidentifiable person tries to go near Sunaria jail where Gurmeet has been lodged. At around 2.15 pm, CBI judge Jagdeep Singh reached the Sunaria jail where Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s counsel of six lawyers headed by SK Narwana previously reached by road.
Around 7pm in the evening, clearing the confusion in the air, the news about quantum of punishment came out as 10 years of imprisonment and 15 lakhs fine on each case despite giving compensation of Rs.14 lakh to both victims.
The lawyer of Ram Rahim stated that they will appeal against the decision in higher courts.
There has also been a lot of controversies going among netizens and social media regarding the violence and death caused.