The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is likely to register multiple cases as part of its probe into the alleged forced castration of followers of Gurmeet Ram Rahim, head of Sirsa-based religious sect Dera Sacha Sauda.
Acting on an order of the Punjab and Haryana high court issued last month, the agency is conducting the probe on suspicions that around 400 sect followers had been castrated. Two teams of investigators have been deployed to collect and examine related complaints, records and witness statements, said a CBI source.
"Based on the verification of the complaints, we will file cases to probe the cognisable offence," said a source. The agency may file the first case by the end of this month.
"So far, such complaints had remained just complaints since they had been enquired into but no case was lodged by any authority," the source added. The sect has rejected castration-related allegations and charges of any wrongdoing.
The court had passed the order acting on a petition filed by a sect follower, Hans Raj Chauhan, who alleged to have been castrated. Chauhan alleged that he, along with around 400 others in the dera (monastery), had been castrated on an assurance that the act would make them able to meet 'god' through the dera chief.
The court, however, said that the case of castration couldn't be termed as an act of 'humanity' even if the followers had given their consent. "Would you allow cutting the head if someone offers the same?" the court asked.
The agency, as part of the probe, will also look into the role of doctors who performed such operations. The court has asked the CBI to file the first status report on March 2.