Rapist Godman and Violent Followers

Even as I started from office, one of my friend called me enquiring a�?are you safea��. I was shocked. The friend explained the news of violence by Dera followers and loss of lives

S. Virat

New Delhi: While apex court was trying to introduce civilized sense of privacy and protecting the homes of citizens recognizing privacy right within the right to life, the right to life of innocent people is violently being breached by the rapist Baba and his violent followers. The picture of India in global media suffers a serious dent with incidents of fanaticism and unreasonable faith of people in a very peculiar Godman, so called.

Rule of law is facing most undesirable threat from frenzy and fanatic mobs in Haryana and peripheral areas in four other states. May be it can be called lynching of people, short of terrorism. So called Godman having name of Ram and Rahim together is convicted of a rape of sadhvi and such conviction is said to be provocation which already led to killing of two dozens of people and injuring hundreds of people in arson and disorder. The people with petrol sachets and kerosene bottles were at the height of their rampage in Panchkula and other places burning vehicles and also trains. The security forces are struggling to control the volatile situation.

One very significant order came from the judiciary. After the Dera Sacha Sauda followers went on a rampage in various parts of the country, the Punjab and Haryana High Court ordered the attachment of all the properties owned by Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, as reported by multiple TV channels. As per CNN-News 18, the order was passed by the High Court to compensate for the loss of property and destruction caused by his supporters in the states. This announcement came minutes after the violence spread to other parts of North India killing many people.

Within two hours of his conviction by a CBI court, the violence had left a trail of burnt vehicles, buildings and railway stations in Punjab and Haryana. Later the violence spread into other states and Delhi also. Hospitals were overwhelmed with the stream of injured people being brought in a�� at last count it was 200. A dozen deaths were confirmed by Vivek Bhadu, the chief medical officer of the Civil Hospital in Panchkula, a suburb of Chandigarh.

It was reported that even journalists and police personnel got injured in the incident. A reporter of CNN News 18 TV said a steady stream of ambulances was bringing scores of injured people to the hospital, soaked in blood. He described the scene as a�?war zone.a�? Surprisingly the violence by Dera followers included a large number of women.

The Dera chief Ram Rahim was accused in 2002 of sexually exploiting two female followers. Earlier in the day, he was found guilty in the case and the sentencing will take place on 28th August. The situation in the wake of the verdict was worsening in parts of Punjab, mainly in Malwa region, the stronghold of Dera Sacha Sauda. At least three OB vans of private television channels were damaged. Two vans were overturned by a mob, as per reports of agencies.

Dera chief was immediately taken into custody. The Dera chief now faces a prospect of 7-10 years of jail time. The special CBI court gave its verdict secretly inside the court room where only 7 people were allowed, asA�per multiple TV reports. Ram Rahim Singh had arrived in Panchkula to present himself before a special CBI court in the 15-year old sexual exploitation case against him today even as his followers gathered outside. Gurmeet (Ram Rahim), had left the sect headquarters in Sirsa by road this morning and reached Panchkula in the afternoon.

The sexual exploitation case was registered against the Dera chief in 2002 by the CBI on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court after anonymous letters were circulated about the alleged sexual exploitation of two a�?sadhvisa�� (female followers) by Ram Rahim Singh. Around 53 companies of the paramilitary forces and 50,000 personnel of the Haryana Police have been deployed. In addition, the Army was also been alerted. Section 144 has been imposed across Chandigarh as more than 50,000 of Ram Rahima��s followers congregated at Naam Charcha Ghar in Panchkula area. Ahead of the judgment, as many as 74 trains were cancelled today in view of law and order situation in Haryana, as reported.

a�?We will not move out from Panchkula till the time we have pitajia��s (Ram Rahim) a�?darshana��. We will wait till the court verdict,a�? said an aged follower who had come from Bathinda in Punjab. Haryana, Punjab and Union Territory Chandigarh went into lockdown since yesterday, shutting mobile Internet services, trains, schools, colleges and buses.

The order that properties of Dera have to be attached and the injured should be compensated is a most welcome order. The state and center should make necessary laws to ensure the relief and damages to the victims of such riots which can be squarely attributed to an identifiable group. The video footage and cctv recordings should be used to identify the culprits and the action should be taken immediately before the memory of the witnesses is faded out.

The inaction of state and the police is evident. The police was warned sufficiently in advance that Dera followers are storing petrol etc in huge quantum. The DG of police law and order of Punjab has circulated a letter on 22nd August 2017 that Dera followers are storing sharp edged weapons, stones on the roof of Naam Charcha Ghars and warned that anything could happen on 25th August. Chandigarh administration on 22nd August declared Cricket Stadium Sector 16 Chandigarh as temporary jail. It is difficult to believe that Haryana does not know this.



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