Punjab and Haryana are in a state of emergency owing to the verdict of the rape case against the accused Dera Sacha Sauda Chief, Gurmeet Ram Rahim. The case is a decade old, dating back to 2002.
Its foundation lies on the claim of two women, former members of DSS, who have accused the Chief of sexually exploiting them at the Sirsa Aashram.
Lakhs of people have already gathered in Panchkula and Haryana and the numbers have been increasing since yesterday. The security forces have to be so tight that the government has proposed to allot the status of “Temporary Jail” to the stadium in Sector 16, owing to the huge crowd who may create any mess during this period.
Timeline of the Case
*Rape Allegations and Murders
The rape allegations against the chief were made in 2002 by a sadhvi who claimed to be a part of the organization. She wrote a letter to then P.M. (Prime Minister) Atal Bihari Vajpayee and narrated her story and also mentioned that there were many others who suffered as well.
A report by Hindustan Times outlines the contents of the letter that described how was the victim pulled into all this.
The chief had a revolver and there was a porn film running in the background in the room. The women claimed to be sexually harassed for 3 years and this was not the case with her but other 30-40 women as well.
After taking suo moto in lieu of the anonymous letter, the mattered was referred to the CBI in September 2002. After the questioning of CBI by nearly 20 Sadhvis, two of them laid their allegations of rape against the chief. They also told that the chief justified the rape on the claim that it would “purify” her.
These Testimonies were recorded under Section 164 of CrPC which meant that these can be used as an evidence against the accused.
Post this, the country witnessed the murder of DSS member Ranjit Singh (10 July 2002) and one journalist named Ram Chander Chhatrapati (23 October 2002), which made the case even more suspicious and the claim of the two sadhvi’s started sounding real
The editor of Pora Sach, a local daily of Sirsa- reported about the tracherous happening within the DSS. In addition to that, he quoted that Ranjit Singh was believed to be involved in drafting the anonymous letter.
‘Not Fit to Indulge in Physical Relationships’: Ram Rahim Unfailingly Denied Charges
Five Years after the case was filed against the chief, a charge sheet was issued by CBI on July 30, 2007.
The trial for the same commenced in 2008 and on September 6 he was charged under Section 376 (rape) and Section 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC (Indian Penal Code).
The CBI court was shifted from Ambala to Panchkula in April 2011. Ram Rahim consistently insisted the charges to be false and baseless and in 2011, even mentioned that “he was not fit to indulge in physical relationships”.
Now, After a Decade Long Struggle, the trial is to reach its verdict on 25 August 2017 (Friday).