Ram Rahim Verdict Timeline: What actually happened?
The hashtags #RamRahimVerdict, #RamRahimSingh, #DeraSachaSauda have been on the fire since August 26. My Facebook Wall is crammed with related posts. News Portals are loaded with news about past, present and future of Dera Sacha Sauda Chief, Ram Rahim Singh. I can already sense two group of people- The one who think he is a convict are all over the internet sharing post in support of the decision, the judge, the reporter who covered the news back in 2002. The other group which is mainly working offline, is rather busy burning buses, train crates and causing terror everywhere they go.
Ram Rahim ke bacche¸ (because they prefer to call him pitaji) are not so influential online. However, few videos of girls living in the Dera Sacha hostels have surfaced who can be seen talking how uncivil and unethical it is to charge guruji with such baseless 15 years old allegations. A tip- don’t see that video, it is loads of bullshit.
For me, Ram Rahim has always been the guy who ‘starred’ in MSG and its sequels. I had a little idea about his following because his movies were always hit even with script worse than Prem Ratan dhan Payo. But to what extent those people are ready to go for this guy, I realized when my office management asked everyone to leave three hours early owing to the growing unrest in the city (I live in New Delhi). I non chalantly checked the news and there it was- images of burning buses, bloody streets, dead people, Tear Gas, police and paramilitary and everything to make me sick to my stomach.
I am as uninformed about the case as you, so I decided to study a little bit about this guy and the case and list out the 10 major factors to understand this case better before starting my status spree on these hooligans.
- In 2002, a female follower of Singh’s allegedly penned an anonymous letter to then Prime Minister of IndiaAtal Vajpayee accusing Singh of sexual abuse.
- In the same year, Singh had murder charges levied against him for the murder of journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati, who was writing articles at the time about Dera Sacha Sauda,
- Two local carpenters Nirmal Singh and Kuldeep Singh were arrested for the shooting.
- in January 2003, his son, and successor as proprietor of the local newspaper Anshul Chhatrapati petitioned the High Court for a CBI investigation, which was accepted and ordered by the High Court ten months later in November.
- In July 2007, the CBI filed a charge sheet against the Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
- Conclusion of evidence presentation was made in November 2014.
- The primary accused Nirmal Singh was granted bail January 2017, 14 years after he was arrested. The other accused Kuldeep Singh had already been bailed shortly after initial arrest.
- On 25 August 2017, a special CBIcourt in Panchkula, Haryana, delivered its verdict in a sexual assault case regarding a former Dera sadhvi, finding Gurmeet Ram Rahim guilty of two counts of rape.
- More than 200,000 people had gathered near the court premises ahead of the verdict in Panchkula, Haryana. 30 people were killed in parts of India with reports of widespread vandalism.
- On 26 August 2017, the Punjab and Haryana High Courtordered the police to seize the properties of the group to compensate for the vandalism caused in protests by his supporters.
What is happening in our country at the time is sad. I know all this will settle, we will go back to our daily 10 to 7 work hours but the scars will remain. The bruises will stay. And the aftereffects of such atrocities are what people like Ram Rahim feed on. I really hope that people grow a little more and see the world for what it is.