Followers of the Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insasn, who had collected at Panchkula ahead of rape case verdict, have started returning to their homes dismayed, discouraged, scared and faith shaken. Many of the followers have taken off their lockets and refused to disclose their names, fearing that the police will then look for them. Most of the followers wore a look of defeat and weariness, with many claiming that they will now reconsider their faith in the sect. Many others, however, still address Gurmeet Singh as ‘Pitaji’. Irrespective of the status of their faith most just wish to return home. In fact, most of them are returning home in small groups and many are simply glad to be alive, according to a Sunday Express report.
Buses hired by the district administration of Mohali had dropped off many Dera followers on the outskirts of Mansa and Bathinda districts of Punjab from where they were told that they were now on their own. Darshan Singh, one of the many supporters of the Dera Chief who had come to Panchkula, told the Sunday Express ”We are returning from Panchkula, We had gone to support Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, but the situation became very bad. The decision of the court should be obeyed. There wasn’t any point in turning violent.” Darshan Singh who was trying to return home to Sri Ganganagar district of Rajasthan with a companion from the same district added ”There was no point in being violent, a few youngsters turned to violence and others followed. We faced difficulty, but thank god we are now in Punjab”.
Darshan’s companion Mangla Ram said that he had come to Panchkula with 11 others, but he does not know where they are. Mangla Ram also said that the police had asked him to deposit his mobile phone, purse and wallet and gave him Rs 700 to return home. Mangla adds that he will consider whether he wants to return to Dera or not. While many others who spoke to the Sunday Express said that they still had faith in ‘Pitaji’.