Almost five days after at least 39 people were killed and more than 250 people were injured in riots and arson in Haryana and Punjab following the conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in two rape cases last Friday, former Haryana chief minister and Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda slammed the BJP Government in the state over the delay in controlling the violence, ANI said.
“Situation could have been easily avoided but due to the negligence of the government or safeguarding vote bank nothing was done,” he was quoted to have said by the agency. Earlier in the day, Haryana Chief Minister rejected demands for his resignation saying his government carried out the work well. Soon after meeting BJP chief Amit Shah in New Delhi to submit a report on the violence, the chief minister said as per the agency,“We have worked with restraint in this whole situation. Our main motive was to create peacefulness before and after the verdict, and that’s all we concentrated on.”
On Monday, the CBI court judge Jagdeep Singh, who was flown in a helicopter to Suneria jail near Rohtak had sentenced 20 years imprisonment to Dera Sacha Sauda chief, ten each for raping his two disciples, Indian Express said. Before his sentence, the prosecutor had told the court that this was the case of “custodial rape,” even as the defence lawyer sought leniency while pointing on “social works” done by the Dera chief like “motivating people to marry even prostitutes”.
Upon this, the judge ruled that Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh did not deserve any sympathy as his victims had placed him “on the pedestal of ‘god’ and revered him” but “he did not even spare his own disciples and had acted like a wild beast”.He added that the Dera chief’s action suggested “irreparable damages caused… to the heritage of this ancient land”.
The judge, while ordering compensation of Rs 14 lakh each for two victims two victims, said the Dera chief had committed breach of the “gravest nature” by “sexually assaulting such gullible and blind followers” the paper added.
“Such criminal acts of a particular convict who is stated to be heading a religious organisation known as Dera Sacha Sauda… are bound to shatter images of pious and sacred spiritual, social, cultural and religious institutions existing in this country since time immemorial, which in turn reflects irreparable damages caused by the acts of the convict to the heritage of this ancient land,” the judge said as per Indian Express.