Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh – who went by the name “Love Charger” – has been found guilty in the 15-year-old rape case by a CBI court. The quantum of the sentence in the case will be announced on August 28. The accused has been taken into police custody and is expected to be taken to a prison facility where he will start serving the quantum of his sentence, which will be at least 7 years.
The sexual exploitation case was registered against the Dera chief in 2002 by the CBI on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court after anonymous letters were circulated about the alleged sexual exploitation of two ‘sadhvis’ by Ram Rahim .Amid heavy security, the 50-year-old Dera head left the sect-headquarters at Sirsa, about 260 km from Chandigarh, at about 9am. The Dera chief, who enjoys ‘Z’ category security, travelled in a convoy that included hundreds of SUVs, to reach Panchkula.
Dera Sacha Sauda and Gurmeet Ram Rahim have a huge following, and the Police anticipating trouble have put Punjab as well as Haryana on high alert.
Earlier, almost two lakh followers of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh – the “Guru of Bling” – heading the Dera Sacha Sauda cult, based out of Sirsa, Punjab, had threatened to bring north India to a grinding halt, unleash fury and violence on public property, in case the imminent verdict in the guru’s rape trial case goes against the man.
Also known as “premis”, these followers have been camping in Panchkula near Chandigarh and have made open threats that they will “wipe out India” if their ‘Pitaji’ is convicted.
Late Thursday evening, Gurmeet Ram Rahim released a video asking his supporters to maintain peace and return to their homes but his followers have ignored the appeal.
“I appeal to everyone to maintain peace. I had asked the Dera followers, who have gone to Panchkula to return to their homes, earlier as well. I will go to the court. We all should respect law and maintain peace,” Gurmeet Ram Rahim said in the video message.