Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh has been sentenced to imprisonment for 20 years on charges of raping two of his female followers. The CBI court has also fined him for Rs 30 lakh for three separate offences, including the attempt to murder and criminal intimidation.
The credit for this victory, however, goes to the gutsy woman whose statement led to his conviction.
Things to know about her:
- Gurmeet Singh sexually assaulted her when she was studying in a college run inside the Sirsa headquarters of the Dera Sacha Sauda. Her elder brother was also an ardent believer of the Dera chief.
- “He was murdered in 2002 at the behest of Ram Rahim Singh. The godman suspected the brother of having sent the anonymous letter, which led to registration of a case against him. The brother had become aware of the wrongdoings with his sister,” one of the woman’s relative told The Hindu.
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- “He was present in the courtroom when I deposed against him in 2009. I was not scared of him then nor am I today,” said the woman.
- Belonging to a family of agriculturists, the woman is now in her early 40s. She is married to a farmer and has two children. She has been living under police protection since 2002.
- The woman’s relative disclosed that despite belonging to a conservative background, the entire clan backed her in bringing the truth out.
- It was only in 2009 that she went to the court to record her statement. Her father, who died last year, accompanied her. He attended all the remaining hearings. The Dera chief’s guards used to come to court with weapons to pressurize them against pursuing the case. The Dera management said they were ready to pay any amount quoted by them.
Information credits: The Hindu