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The meteoric rise of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim: Who's to blame?
Ultimately the self-styled Godman, Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was convicted to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 30 lakh for raping two Dera sadhvis by a CBI court at Panchkula on August 25, a day which shall be remembered as historical for exposing the inside story of Dera Sacha Sauda.

This story, a cocktail of blind faith, crime and adultery, has been making headlines for the past few days throughout the world. Ghosts of the past 15 years of Dera's history just like in a terror film or supernatural thriller seem to have been let loose, with many individuals now coming out with their personal accounts and inside stories covering different angles.

Apart from rape crimes committed inside the Dera by Ram Rahim, the other stories doing rounds are about how the Dera head got around 400 of his disciples castrated, and also how the all powerful guru spawned a political clout, making the entire society his slave.

However, the idiom – Bhagwan ke ghar der hai andher nahi (There is delay in God's justice but it is inevitable) – befits the Dera head well.

The CBI court's judgment will become a landmark in the times to come which will restore people's faith in the judiciary. The court case in itself is exemplary as an anonymous letter written to the judiciary served justice to the victims when politicians and bureaucrats were bowing before the multifaceted Baba and the voice of innocent sadhvis was being snubbed.

The credit for this goes to struggle by the two victims, sacrifice of the daring reporter, honest officers of the CBI and last but not the least, the judges for upholding the law. But those who plummeted most were the politicians, who drive by their politics of vote bank kept going easy on Gurmeet Ram Rahim.

This episode only started when an anonymous letter reached the Punjab and Haryana High Court from a victim in 2002 and also to the erstwhile Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Home Minister and CBI Director but its notice was taken only by the High Court.

It would be unfair if the contribution of the present District and Session Judge, MS Bhullar is not recognised who conducted an in-depth enquiry into the case on the directions of the High Court.

Taking the anonymous letter as a petition, on the comments of Justice Sular, the case was marked to the CHI for investigation on September 24, 2002. During this period, journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati published the anonymous letter in local Hindi-language evening daily Poora Sachh, for which he was killed. The charge is that he was killed by loyalists of Ram Rahim. The case is still pending in the same CBI court which had found the Dera chief guilty of rape on August 25.

However, it is very unfortunate that the dying statement of Chhatrapati was not recorded in the hospital for a number of days during the tenure of Chautala government which clearly speaks that it wanted to save Ram Rahim's skin. The Dera chief also faces another case of murder of former Dera manager Ranjit Singh in the same year, 2002. He was suspected to be behind the floating of the anonymous letter to various authorities. This case too is in its final stage in the CBI court.

The arson and violence at Panchkula after the verdict was unfortunate. But the question is, why the Dera followers were allowed to gather at Panchkula? Simply for vested political interests Panchkula was allowed to burn.

Even the Congress-led government had provided 'Z' plus security to the Dera chief which continued under the successive BJP government. Number of politicians of Punjab and Haryana regularly visited the Dera chief to seek his blessings during state Assembly elections.

If the Dera chief had become so powerful that he could influence voters and be the ultimate deciding factor on who wins or loses an election, the politicians of our country cannot absolve themselves of the responsibility of making him so!

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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