Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh rape case: Political parties welcome prison term given to Dera chief

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New Delhi | Published: August 29, 2017 9:24:59 AM

Leaders from various political parties today welcomed the 20-year prison term given to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh even as some Opposition leaders lashed out at the Haryana government for the violence that preceded the pronouncement of the sentence.

gurmeet ram rahim, gurmeet ram rahim case, dera sacha sauda, dera sacha sauda case, ram rahim jailed, ram rahim guiltyGurmeet Ram Rahim Singh (Express Archive)

Leaders from various political parties today welcomed the 20-year prison term given to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh even as some Opposition leaders lashed out at the Haryana government for the violence that preceded the pronouncement of the sentence.

The Congress lauded the judiciary for proving that no one is above the Constitution and the law.  It, however, accused the central government of showing “mulish obstinacy” and arrogance by not sacking the BJP government in the face of strictures by the high court after violence in Panchkula that left at least 36 people dead.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said, “We unconditionally welcome… with great respect, we salute how the majesty of the law has been upheld in the state irrespective of our division.”

Terming the court’s order “appropriate”, BJP general secretary Anil Jain, who is Haryana in-charge, asserted that those supporters of Ram Rahim who broke law will not be spared. “The court has delivered an appropriate verdict,” he said adding that the Haryana government will ensure that the court orders are implemented.

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said that the law of the land must be implemented, but expressed concerns over the violence after the court on August 25 held Ram Rahim guilty of rape.

“It is strange that despite the high court’s directions, no stringent measures were taken to ensure there was no violence,” he said.

The verdict on Friday had led to widespread violence in Punjab, Haryana, parts of Uttar Pradesh and even Delhi leading to the deaths of more than 30 people.

“The law has taken its course. It is a verdict on the charges of serious nature. One should respect the verdict. Somebody must be held responsible for the violence which preceded the verdict. Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar should have resigned by this time. His position has become untenable and he must quit,” said CPI national secretary D Raja.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said the court has found Ram Rahim guilty and sentenced him.  The sentencing was “not a thing to be either welcomed or rejected”, he said as he appealed to the people to “accept” the court verdict.

“There is curfew in one or two places in Punjab and we have left it to the district administration to decide in a day or two when the time is right to lift the curfew,” he added.

Both Haryana and Punjab are on high alert with elaborate security arrangements in place. Special CBI judge Jagdeep Singh passed the sentence in a makeshift court in the Sunaria jail where Ram Rahim, had been lodged since his conviction.  BJP leader Subramanian Swamy said that Ram Rahim’s conviction was a message that no one is too big to be prosecuted.  He also said that it was unlikely that Rahim’s 20-year term would be reduced on appeal.

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