Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was found guilty of raping two ‘sadhvis’ (female followers) by the CBI court in Panchkula, Haryana on Friday.
He will be lodged in Ambala jail, according to initial reports. According to the reports, the court will pronounce the quantum of sentence on 28 August.
The case was registered after an anonymous letter alleging sexual exploitation of several sadhvis was sent to then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Violence broke out in Panchkula soon after the decision was made as the supporters of Ram Rahim Singh went on a rampage setting government buildings and media OB vans on fire. The supporters rage knew no bounds as they trashed the Government offices.
The death toll has reached 17 with over 200 injured in the Panchkula violence.
The National Conference working president Omar Abdullah has called for the removal of Haryana CM ML Khattar for “gross dereliction of duty” in the wake of mounting death toll following the violence erupted by Dera Chief’s followers.
There’s a lot of demand for the resignation of Haryana CM ML Khattar on social media.
Meanwhile, the Punjab and Haryana high court has ordered the attachment of Dera Sacha Sauda properties to compensate for the damages in riots after Ram Rahim Singh was convicted. The court warned to take strict action against the police officers who would run away from the violence.
While the order from the high court is commendable and reflects their tough stance on the issue, curfew has been imposed in different parts of Punjab and Haryana after the followers of the rape convict set two train stations and a petrol pump on fire.
Dera comes out with its first official statement after the conviction saying that they have been wronged and that they will appeal to a higher court.
If reports are to be believed, at least 1000 Dera supporters have been detained in Panchkula.
Home minister Rajnath Singh has spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the critical situation in Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, and Rajasthan. The violence has now reached Delhi and Rajasthan. The security at several metro stations in Delhi has been beefed up after two coaches of a train were set afire by violent supporters of Dera Chief in Anand Vihar, Delhi.
While the democracy provides a right to protest, it doesn’t grant anyone the right to spread violence and a harsh stance against the violent followers is expected from the Government in this hour of the need.