A special court hearing was carried out in the Rohtak jail, where in Judge Jagdeep Singh was flown in by a helicopter to pronounce the sentence. This afternoon he gave the quantum of sentence which was decided up to 20 years imprisonment.
According to the initial decision, it was reported that the Dera chief would spend 10 years in jail for both rape cases. Later, CBI Judge Jagdeep Singh pronounced two sentences of 10 years rigorous imprisonment in each of the two cases that date back to 2002, said defence lawyer S K Garg Narwana. He said both sentences will run consecutively for a total of 20 years in jail for the bling guru.
Moreover, making his agony worse, the court also fined the Dera chief Rs 15 lakh in each of the two cases, of which Rs 14 lakh each would go to the two victims who were part of his sect and were coerced into having sex with him.
The Dera chief apparently sobbed in the courtroom as he begged to be treated leniently and asked to be forgiven and p;ayed his social worker card, expecting some mercy.
But, during the arguments before the sentencing, the prosecution said no leniency should be shown and demanded the maximum sentence for the ‘Rapist Baba’.
The defence argued that the Dera chief is a social worker who has worked for the welfare of people, so judge should take a lenient view.
As on Friday, Gurmeet Ram Rahim was proved guilty of rape by the special CBI court in Panchkula, Haryana. He was immediately taken into judicial custody but his followers in Haryana and Punjab went on the rampage resulting in the death of 38 people and crores of damage to public property and injuries to common public.
To avoid a reiteration of Friday’s violent incident, sentencing was held in a court specially set up inside the district jail premises in Sunaria near Rohtak, where Ram Rahim was brought and lodged after his conviction.
Security was beefed up from every respect possible. Rohtak District Collector Atul Kumar stated that if any anti-social elements are spotted trying to harm themselves or others, shoot at sight orders will be issued immediately. Security was increased outside the official residence of Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar in Chandigarh ahead of Ram Rahim’s sentencing. A multi-layer security cordon was thrown around the Rohtak district jail by paramilitary forces and Haryana Police ahead of the sentencing. The Army was also kept on stand-by.
Minimum movement was advised to the common people and only authorised individuals were allowed within a distance of 10 km from the prison premises.
Meanwhile, Panchkula, Sirsa, Uttar Pradesh and neighbouring areas were put on high alert, with paramilitary forces deployed in various pockets of the states. While Section 144 is already in place in Rohtak, curfew also continues to be enforced in Sirsa. At many sensitive places in Punjab too, security forces conducted flag marches and kept a tight vigil in sensitive areas.
Mobile internet services will remain suspended in Haryana and Punjab till 11:30am on Tuesday. Officials also stated that, “Internet lease lines on the premises of the Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters at Sirsa will also be suspended till then.”