Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday registered a First Information Report (FIR) against Gurmeet Ram Rahim, head of Sirsa-based religious sect Dera Sacha Sauda, to probe allegations related to castration of around 400 of his followers at his monastery (‘dera’) after he falsely claimed that the act will ensure union with God.
The agency is likely to question Rahim, who was named in the FIR as an accused, soon to seek his clarifications over the allegations and may later subject him to scientific tests including polygraph after seeking his consent, said a CBI source. The case was lodged on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court after one of the alleged 400 castrated followers, Hans Raj Chauhan alias Hakiki, had petitioned it, seeking CBI probe and compensations.
Chauhan had been allegedly castrated in 2000 on a claim made by Rahim (the dera chief) that it would lead to attainment of union with God via the latter, said the source. The case was lodged against Rahim and others, who may have facilitated the castrations including doctors and medical personnel, on charges related to criminal conspiracy, voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means and punishment for criminal intimidation, said a CBI spokesperson.
“The petitioner had alleged that around 400 male followers of Gurmeet Ram Rahim, including himself, were castrated in Sirsa in 2000 under the false claim of the religious leader that the castration would lead to realisation of God via him,” said the source. The alleged victims belonged to states including Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. Chauhan had approached the court in 2012.
The court had said that the case of castration couldn’t be termed as an act of ‘humanity’ even if the followers had given their consent for it. “Would you allow cutting the head if someone offers the same,” the court had said while hearing the petition. HT had on Sunday reported that the CBI was soon going to file a case to probe the allegations and that it had sent a team each to Sirsa and Chandigadh to collect castration-related complaints and witness statements.