Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Sentenced to Ten Years in Jail for Rape, Fined Rs 65,000
Aug 28, 2017,
Over a decade and 200 hearings later, the law finally caught up with self-styled godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. On Monday, the Dera chief was sentenced to 10 years in jail for raping two of his women followers. Singh’s Dera Sacha Sauda sect describes itself as a social welfare and spiritual organisation but he is no stranger to controversy. In 2015 he was accused of encouraging 400 followers to undergo castration at his ashram so they could get closer to god.
He also stood trial for conspiracy over the murder of a journalist in 2002.
Here’s how this case gained momentum:
April 2002 : Then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee receives an anonymous letter from a Dera sadhvi (woman follower) saying she was raped by the Gurmeet Ram Rahim.
May 2002 : Punjab and Haryana high court directs Sirsa district and sessions judge to probe the allegations in the letter.
September 2002 : High court hands matter to CBI after district court indicates possibility of sexual exploitation.
December 2002 : CBI registers a case of rape and criminal intimidation against Gurmeet Ram Rahim
July 2007 : CBI files chargesheet against the Dera head in an Ambala court. The chargesheet refers to the sexual exploitation of two ‘sadhvis’ between 1999 and 2001.
September 2008 : The special CBI court frames charges against Gurmeet under sections 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC.
Between 2009 and 2010 : Two complainants record their statements before the court.
April 2011 : The special CBI court moved from Ambala to Panchkula. The case against the Dera chief also transferred to the Panchkula CBI court.
July 2017 : Special CBI court orders daily hearings.
August 17, 2017 : Arguments of prosecution and defence conclude. Special CBI Judge Jagdeep Singh fixes August 25 as date for announcing the verdict. Gurmeet Ram Rahim asked to appear in person before the court on that day.
August 25, 2017: The special CBI court convicts Gurmeet Ram Rahim and takes him into judicial custody. The conviction is protested with large-scale violence, arson and looting by Dera chief’s followers in Haryana and Punjab, resulting in the deaths of 38 people. Ram Rahim is lodged in a Rohtak district jail.
August 28: Ram Rahim is sentenced to ten years in jail.(Agencies)