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Published On: Mon, Aug 28th, 2017

Ten-year jail term for Dera chief Ram Rahim Singh

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620207-31 ROHTAK:  A CBI special court on Monday sentenced Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim to 10 years in prison for the 2002 rape case. Immediately after the sentence, Ram Rahim – Qaidi number (prisoner number) 1997 – was taken away for medical examination. He will soon be given a jail uniform and allotted prison cell.

CBI Judge Jagdeep Singh, who holds the court in Panchkula, near Chandigarh, pronounced the sentence in a special courtroom set up inside the Sunaria jail in Rohtak where the 50-year-old self-styled godman, is lodged since last Friday after his conviction.
The judge was brought to Rohtak by a chopper from Chandigarh and it landed in a helipad near the jail located on the outskirts of the city. The judge awarded the 10-year jail term after hearing arguments on the quantum of sentence by prosecution and defence lawyers.The special courtroom within the jail was set up on the instructions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
The court had notified the jail as a place of sitting of the CBI court of Additional District and Sessions Judge, Panchkula for the purpose of hearing on the quantum of sentence and pronouncement of the sentence. 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.
The CBI filed the charge sheet against the Dera head in a Ambala court in July 2007 about five years after the registration of the rape case. The charge sheet mentions sexual exploitation of two ‘sadhvis’ (women followers) between 1999 and 2001. The special CBI court framed charges against him 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.The special CBI court shifted from Ambala to Panchkula and the case against the Dera chief was also transferred to Panchkula CBI Court. In July 2017, the court ordered daily hearing and arguments of the prosecution and the defence were concluded on August 17, 2017. It held Ram Rahim guilty of rape on August 25.
The 50-year-old self-styled godman, also the lead actor of MSG film franchise, was held guilty of raping two ‘sadhvis’ or female followers 15 years inside the Dera premises on Friday afternoon. Following the conviction, deadly riots ensued in Panchkula and surrounding areas, killing 38 and injuring over 250 people.
Rohtak Deputy Commissioner Atul Kumar said police will not hesitate to open fire again at those spreading violence. “It is a challenging situation, but we are prepared”, Mr. Kumar told reporters. “We are prepared to deal with any unscrupulous element who may try to create trouble … if there is any such element who indulges in any act of violence endangering innocent lives, if he does not pay heed to warnings then shoot-at-sight will be used against him. Action will be taken as the situation demands,” he asserted.He said the Rohtak administration and security personnel were dealing with a “dynamic and challenging situation“.




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