March 21 2018

Indian court slaps 10-yr imprisonment on Ram Raheem for rape

March 21 2018, 12:28 | Sammy Rose

Haryana DGP BS Sandhu

Haryana DGP BS Sandhu

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the 50-year-old self-styled godman, was sentenced to 20 years in jail on Monday for raping two followers a decade ago.

It was this letter that resulted in the Punjab and Haryana High Court asking India's federal police, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), to conduct an investigation, which eventually led to Singh's conviction and sentencing. "However, if even after these foolproof arrangements, anti- social elements or any criminal tries to create trouble, then we have given orders that strict action be taken as per the demands of the situation", he said.

Last week, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was produced in a Panchkula court that left the city devastated as his several hundred-thousand followers went on the rampage despite the presence of the police and the army.

A curfew was put in place on Monday in Rohtak, too.

The prison in the town of Rohtak, 66km from New Delhi, was transformed into a fortress, with journalists banned from approaching within 1.6km of it. Roads were lined with barbed-wire barricades.

Khattar, facing unending questions from the reporters, had to plead with them to at least listen to what he had to say.

Ahead of the proceedings, Inspector General (I.G.) of Police, Rohtak Range Navdeep Singh Virk said that few weapons were recovered from Bahalgarh's Dera Ashram in the Sonepat district, and that a search operation was underway. The Punjab & Haryana High Court handed over the case to the CBI later.

The minimum sentence for the charges was seven years and the maximum was life in prison.

He has started a film franchise in which he stars as the "Messenger of God", or MSG, with divine powers to save the world. In the movies he dons bejewelled costumes, rides motorbikes and sends bad guys flying.

Prior to his conviction Singh was enjoying a political patronage and had cordial relations with the politicians. Why Haryana and Punjab treated like step children?.

Authorities said the situation was under control and no incidents of violence were reported from anywhere in the states.

Although his claim of 50 million worshippers may be an exaggeration, Friday's conviction attracted an estimated 100,000 people outside the courthouse in Panchkula. Dera followers attempted to set railway stations on fire at Malout, Balluana and Gidderbaha in Muktsar district. However, police said the vehicle burned at its own.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's victims are not happy with the 10-year jail term given to the head of the Dera Sacha Sauda for sexually exploiting them between 1999 and 2001.

On Sunday Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his radio address warned that violence was not acceptable in the nation.

Haryana's Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Ram Niwas said that the state government has taken a decision to bear the expenses to replace the damaged equipment of those media personnel who found themselves caught up in the violence here. Politicians believed he could deliver his followers to the polls, and both India's Congress Party and ruling BJP had aligned with Singh.

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