Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh sentenced to 10 years in jail in rape case

Dera Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh has been found guilty and convicted by special CBI court in a 15-year-old rape case

A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on August 28 sentenced Dara Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh to 10 years of imprisonment in connection with a 15-year-old rape case. During the argument in court on Monday, Ram Rahim Singh broke down in court and pleaded forgiveness stating that his earlier record as a social worker should be taken into consideration before handing out the judgement. However, the prosecution demanded maximum punishment for the rape convict. Special CBI judge Jagdeep Singh had allotted 10 minutes each to both sides to put forth their arguments.

Meanwhile, situation is tense in Sirsa where Dera supporters have allegedly torched two vehicles to stage a protest.

The court on Friday had held Ram Rahim guilty of raping 2 women devotees in 2002. Following the verdict on the Dera chief, massive violence had broken out in Panchkula with Ram Rahim’s supporters going on a rampage and setting vehicles, government buildings on fire.

 Following the violence, all the mobile and internet services were suspended in Panchkula. The authorities had ordered all schools and colleges in Haryana to remain shut to avert any untoward incident. Residents in Rohtak have also been directed to stay indoors. The quantum of sentence was announced in a special court that was set up inside the jail premises where Ram Rahim Singh has been lodged.

The 50-year-old self-styled godman has been charged with IPC section 376 (rape), Section 506 (criminal intimidation) and Section 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman). Additional security has been deployed to tackle any situation that may arise following the verdict.

The police on Friday had to resort to lathi charge, water cannons and tear gas shells to control the violent protests that claimed lives of over 38 people and left more than 300 injured.

Some of the Dera chief supporters had also torched buses and train coaches in Delhi. Police who has been patrolling across the cities have urged people to maintain peace in the area. Shoot-at-sight orders have been issued around Rohtak jail premises.

The CBI judge was Jagdeep Singh was flown in by a special helicopter to announce the quantum of sentence. Rohtak Deputy Commissioner Atul Kumar has affirmed that the security officers will not hesitate in opening fire at those spreading violence. 23 companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed around the Rohtak and Sunaria jail premises.