A special CBI court in Panchkula today found Dera Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim as guilty in the 15- year old rape case against him even as violence is being reported in various parts of Punjab and Haryana immediately after the pronouncement of verdict.
As hundreds of thousands of his followers gathered outside, the Dera chief was pronounced guilty by the special CBI court . He was immediately taken into custody and the quantum of sentence will be announced on August 28
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,
As per TV reports and visuals, 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, had left the sect headquarters in Sirsa by road this morning and reached Panchkula in the afternoon. Police and paramilitary forces were deployed in great numbers in Panchkula ahead of the verdict.
As soon as the pronouncement of the verdict was available, the gathering outside became restless and started indulging in violence. They targeted media crew and stoned some of the OB vans parked. Some reporters of television channels were reportedly got injured and the Police had to resort lathicharge to disperse the crowd.
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 ‘sadhvis’ (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 Rahim’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