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Much ado over convicted rapist

Much ado over convicted rapist
A persistent thought among the thinking masses is that a celebratory matter like convicting a high-profile rapist has turned unbelievably grim because matters of faith and devotion have over-ridden the hard pragmatic concerns of women and justice for them. Quite many details unfolded after a special CBI court verdict convicted Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh for raping two of his followers. The violence following the ruling saw at least 36 deaths (of which only few bodies have been identified) and 250 injured. Amid the volley of blames, the Punjab and Haryana High Court accused BJP government for failing to take adequate precautionary measures. It is little wonder why that he rape charges on the self-styled Godman and the subsequent violence in Punjab and Haryana have left many BJP leaders in Haryana bewildered. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 35th Mann ki Baat empahtically condemned violence in any form. He assured that people who take the law into their own hands will not be tolerated. Meanwhile, Haryana DGP B S Sandhu said in an address to a joint press conference said that four rifles, pistols, and petrol bombs were among weapons seized from the supporters of Dera Sacha Sauda chief. Lathis, rods, axes were also recovered. More search operations are launched in all Dera centres in the state where weapons might be hidden. The Kurukshetra Police went ahead and sealed all nine Naam Charcha Ghars (congregation centres) in the district, evicted followers, and seized over 2,500 lathis and sharp-edged weapons. The curfew that was enforced much later in the day was relaxed for five hours in and around the headquarters of Dera Sacha Sauda in Sirsa and commercial establishments including petrol pumps and stores were allowed to open. In about 1,000 acres of Dera township. The interesting parallel economics around Dera premises is that these shops have the word 'Sach' (truth) prefixed to their respective names and give out colour-coded plastic 'coins' - tokens of Rs 10 and Rs 5 - to customers if they are unable to tender change in Indian currency. These coins are engraved with the words 'Dhan Dhan Satguru Tera hi Asara, Dera Sacha Sauda Sirsa' and can then be used by the customer to buy items at the 'Sach' shops later. Clearly, he has a super-human stature and influence.

While mobs went on a rampage in Haryana and Punjab, Dera mouthpiece Sach Kahoon, in its editorial hailed Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh as a "blazing sun of truth who can never be eclipsed" and blamed the government and the media for "conspiracies", that Saint Dr Guru Ram Rahim Singh Insaan is a sun of truth whose blaze and enlightening powers cannot be eclipsed or suppressed with such conspiracies, as per the editorial. Seven editions of Sach Kahoon, a daily, are published from Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttarakhand and Punjab. It is upheld that "people who have planned and executed this conspiracy against our great saint will be exposed one day. Truth does not need any certificate. Whenever some persons with magical powers have tried to reform this society, they have been opposed and suppressed. Gurus and saints were tortured. Mira was given poison. Followers of our saint Guru do not believe in what others say or write, we only walk on the path of truth. Sona bhatti se nikalkar aur chamakta hai,' (Gold doubles its shine after getting heated in a furnace)," says the editorial titled 'Sach Ka Suraj Chamatka Rahega'. The editorial never mentions Ram Rahim's conviction in the rape case and the violence soon after, only that "a court has given a verdict against guru ji" and that "some people misusing the name of dera premis started creating violence so as to defame them". It blames Central, state government and paid media for "defaming" the holy guru. A persistent question is how did such deras manage to gain such a strong hold in places dominated by the Sikh faith which preached equality, condemns castism, and forbids any worship of individuals. Deras or sects are as old as the Sikh faith itself. While their followers come from every caste, they are mainly dominated by Dalits and other backward classes. Eventually, the defining features of Sikhism began to take a backseat and the vacuum thus created led to offshoots that support to marginalised communities, compounded by physical poverty of worst kinds. Ahead of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's sentencing in the rape case on Monday, four columns of Army have cordoned off the Dera's headquarters on Saturday and appealed to the scores of Dera followers inside to immediately vacate the 1000 acre premises. Paramilitary forces and state police have also formed a second security cordon outside the headquarters and a deadline till 8 am was set for the followers to leave. A seven-layer security cordon has been laid around the jail to prevent a repeat of Friday's violence that left at least 36 dead. Monday will divulge more details and leanings of people when a CBI judge will travel to the jail in which Ram Rahim is lodged and pronounce the quantum of punishment. Such stellar treatment for a convicted criminal!
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