Untill the verdict is out, let’s give you a little trivia on the Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh rape case.
The blind followers and the whole vibe about him has had severe effects in Punjab and Haryana region, so much so that, train, road transport as well as internet connectivity, all have been blocked for good 72 hours. Both the states have come to a stand still, until a firm decision is out.
Also read: RAM RAHIM RAPE CASE VERDICT: HARYANA GOVT SUSPENDS MOBILE INTERNET AND DATA SERVICES FOR NEXT 72 HOURS
Here is a little heads up, in brief, before we start looking forward to the verdict and its subsequent effects:
- The rape allegations against Gurmeet Ram Rahim date back to 2002, when a Dera sadhvi wrote an anonymous letter to then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee saying she was raped by the Dera chief.
- In the letter, the sadhvi also accused Gurmeet Ram Rahim of raping several other female followers inside the sprawling Dera campus on the outskirts of Sirsa in the state of Haryana.
- The Punjab and Haryana high court took cognizance of the sadhvi’s letter and directed the CBI to register a sexual exploitation case against the Dera chief in 2002. The CBI then registered a case against Gurmeet Ram Rahim, based on the sadhvi’s letter.
- The investigating agency questioned 18 sadhvis and two of them leveled allegations of rape against the spiritual leader. One sadhvi said that her rape was “justified” on the grounds that it would “purify” her.
- Both sadhvis who said they were raped recorded their statements before the court and reiterated that they were raped. Their statements are part of the CBI chargesheet which was filed on July 30, 2007 in the special CBI court.
- One of the sadhvis said in her statement that when she entered the Dera chief’s sprawling chamber, the doors automatically closed and she found him watching a pornographic movie on a big screen. The CBI is said to be banking heavily on this statement as only a select few have access to that chamber.
- The trial against Gurmeet Ram Rahim commenced in 2008 and on September 6, 2008, he was charged under Section 376 (rape) and Section 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.
- The Dera chief has consistently called the charges false and baseless and has told the court that he is “not capable of” engaging in physical relations.
- Gurmeet Ram Rahim is also facing trial in two separate murder cases – those of Dera follower Ranjit Singh in July 2002 and of journalist Ram Chander Chattrapati in October that same year.
- Ranjit’s family members claimed he was killed for having circulated the sadhvi’s anonymous letters. Chattrapati had reported extensively on illegal activities going on within the Dera.