ROHTAK: Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh may have acted like a superhero in his films, but in real life, he was all tears pleading for mercy after a court sentenced him to 20 years in jail.
It is obvious that the conviction in the rape case and the 20 years jail has brought the self-styled godmans world crashing down.
Just a few days back, he was playing the role of a popular spiritual guru and now he has been reduced to the status of a criminal, one who has been convicted and sentenced to 20 years in jail. Such great fall was hard for Dera chief to accept, which is why he started crying and pleading for mercy when the CBI court announced its judgment.
With folded hands, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh pleading mercy at Rohtak jail-turned-court was very different from the self-styled Godman who was brought to the same jail in a chopper on Friday.
‘Thodi ji riyayat (have some mercy),’ sobbing Gurmeet kept on saying while special CBI Judge Jagdeep Singh heard both the defence and the prosecution.
Though his defence sought for leniency on grounds of ‘poor health’, ‘public figure’ and his ‘philanthropic work’ for the society, the prosecution demanded for maximum punishment for Gurmeet Ram Rahim.
The moment Judge Jagdeep Singh announced the sentence, Gurmeet Ram Rahim broke down.
The security personnel had to drag him out of the court as the stunned ‘Bling Baba’ refused to move around.
While being forcefully taken away to the jail, Gurmeet Ram Rahim kept on crying, ‘koi mujhe bacha lo (somebody save me).’
The court not only sentenced him to 20 years in prison, but it also came down heavily on the jail authorities for the VVIP treatment given to Gurmeet Ram Rahim.
What is so special about him that he is being treated like a VVIP, the court asked.
According to reports, CBI court also directed jail officials to give jail uniform to convict Ram Rahim and also said that he would not be permitted to carry his personal clothes.
To avoid more trouble it was decided that CBI Judge Jagdeep Singh should pronounce the sentence in the jail, rather than bring Ram Rahim back to his court in Panchkula, near Chandigarh.
Singh arrived in Rohtak in a helicopter, landing on a helipad near the jail located on the outskirts of Rohtak.
A multi-layer security cordon manned by police and 23 companies of paramilitary forces was thrown in and around Rohtak and also around the jail. The Army has been kept on standby while all routes to the jail were sealed.
At least 38 people were killed and hundreds injured on Friday in Haryana and Punjab, which had seen widespread violence by his followers after his conviction on Friday. Most of the dead were shot by police who had opened fire to quell the protests.
Haryana and Punjab remained on high alert with officials warning that violent miscreants will be shot at sight, describing the security situation as “challenging.”
Ram Rahim was found guilty of rape in a case that stemmed from an anonymous written complaint in April 2002 that he had sexually exploited two female followers. The case was registered by the CBI in December 2002 on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
The CBI filed the chargesheet against the Dera head in Ambala court in July 2007. The chargesheet mentions sexual exploitation of two ‘Sadhvis’ (women followers) between 1999 and 2001.
The special CBI court framed charges against Ram Rahim under sections 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC in September 2008. Between 2009 and 2010, the two complainants recorded their statements before the court.
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