Sabato, 23 Settembre, 2017

CBI judge reaches Rohtak, proceedings to sentence Dera chief Ram Rahim begin

Aug 26 09:35 AM Aug 26 09:35 AM
Messalina Adamo | 28 Agosto, 2017, 22:02

Special Central Bureau of Investigation judge Jagdeep Singh, who had Friday held the Dera chief guilty of raping and sexually exploiting two female disciples in 2002, will be flown to Rohtak on Monday for announcing the quantum of punishment.

"He has been sentenced for 10 plus 10, which is a total of 20 years of imprisonment".

The Border Security Force (BSF) set up bunkers in Sirsa and the Indian Army and Haryana police deployed their forces in Rohtak, with order to shoot troublemakers at sight.

Rohtak, in Haryana state, is also under police and military lockdown, the roads lined with barbed-wire barricades.

Haryana BJP in charge, Anil Jain, said that while the loss of life during the protests was sad, the Haryana government was efficient in its response and was able to arrest the violence within three hours of it breaking out. All cars entering the town were being searched.

Singh, who was convicted on Friday for raping two of his women followers, also claimed to be innocent.


On Friday the journalist's son Anshul Chhatrapati welcomed the sentence on Singh, saying the court had "sent a message that any charlatan, however big he may be, is not above the law".

Singh, 50, was not taken to court to hear his sentence. He faces a minimum sentence of seven years in jail. With nearly 50 branches across the country with over 60 million followers, from Haryana, Punjab and New Delhi, the Dera boasts of a cinema, hotel, sports stadium and schools. In his most recent film, he plays a secret agent armed with a twirled moustache and an assortment of swords to fight aliens and UFOs.

Meanwhile, the Haryana government on Saturday sealed over 30 congregation centres of the Dera Sacha Sauda across the state, and also sacked its deputy advocate general for "accompanying" Ram Rahim after his rape conviction. "These are precisely the things that the modern Indian state - at least in its Haryana/Punjab version - refuses to offer to the people", said M. Rajivlochan, Professor of Contemporary History, Panjab University.

Generally Dera Sacha Sauda - or Dera for short - campaigns for vegetarianism, against drug addiction, and takes up social causes such as organising weddings for poor couples.

It also organizes blood donation drives and tree-planting drives. Many maintain private militias for their protection.

Singh has been implicated in other serious cases, including murder and forcing followers to undergo castration so they could get "closer to god".

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