Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Case: How the Long Arm of Law Caught Up With Dera Sacha Sauda Chief
The killings of Ranjit Singh and Ram Chander Chattrapati give enough meat for Judge Jagdeep Singh to check what was the repercussion of the crime and how were these crimes inter-linked with the original offence of rape and sexual assault.
Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. (Network18 Creatives)
New Delhi: Dera chief Ram Rahim was, on Monday, sentenced to 10 years in jail over a 15-year-old rape case.
The sadhvi who had written an anonymous letter to then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2002 can indeed heave a sigh of relief after 15 years.
In 2002, a sadhvi (a woman who partakes in activities of the Dera Sacha Sauda and often resides there) wrote an anonymous letter to Vajpayee, narrating her ordeal. She alleged that Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh had raped her and other sadhvis.
The trial commenced on September 6, 2008 and included charges of Section 376 (rape) and Section 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC.
Though the sentencing has been slated for August 28, it is not hard to presume what lies in store for the Dera Sacha Sauda chief.
The offence of rape attracts a punishment of not less than seven years, which may also extend to life-term depending upon the gravity of the case. This sentence will also be coupled with criminal intimidation which draws an imprisonment of not less than two years. Both offences have a fine attached to it too.
So what prompted the court to convict MSG or the self-styled Messenger of God?
This was not only a case of rape, but also of prolonged sexual assault and abuse involving not one but a number of women.
The contents of the letter written by the sadhvi had indicated that she was called to Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's room one night. When she entered the room, the Dera Sacha Sauda chief, armed with a revolver, was allegedly watching a pornographic movie. The sadhvi had alleged that she was raped and assaulted for three years and that 40 other women were also sexually abused.
This was further corroborated by statements by the victims to the CBI which was recorded under Section 164 of CrPC.
The case got a lot murkier when Ranjit Singh, a member of the Dera Sacha Sauda, was killed on July 10, 2002. Ranjit Singh was believed to have assisted the anonymous sadhvi.
Later, Ram Chander Chattrapati, a journalist working for Poora Sach was also killed. This was one of the few papers that had claimed to expose the “secrets” of the Dera Sacha Sauda.
These two killings also give enough meat for Judge Jagdeep Singh to check what was the repercussion of the crime and how were these crimes inter-linked with the original offence of rape and sexual assault.
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