Days after the Punjab and Haryana High Court asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe the mass castration of full-time followers of Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the petitioner in the case has revealed the castrations were done to safeguard sadhvis (female full-time followers) from possible sexual advances.
Hans Raj, the petitioner, told Hindustan Times, “The culture of initiating female devotees as full-timers was started by Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim and he was concerned about possible sexual advances by male full-timers (sadhus). Such followers, who would become impotent, can be used as potent weapon against his enemies”.
Hans Raj was a sadhu in Dera Sacha Sauda from 1996 to 2012 and worked as a musician for Dera chief’s religious programmes.
Hans Raj said he was awed by Dera chief’s power. But when one after another sadhus who dared to raise voice against the chief were eliminated, he decided to face his fear by filing petition for a CBI probe in July, 2012.
The court had then directed the state government to investigate the case and a medical examination found his testis surgically removed, which is in sync with his claims that over 400 followers were castrated at Sirsa Dera. On why they agreed to undergo castration, Gurdas Singh Toor alias Bitu (46), a witness in this case, claimed it was done on the pretext that removing testis would lead to salvation. “Castrated followers were not allowed to meet their family or venture outside DSS campus on their own,” he said.
While handing over the probe to CBI, the HC had observed that Haryana police’s investigation was worthless.
Dera Sacha Sauda spokesperson Dr Aditya Insan rubbished the allegations. He said all the allegations were false and baseless and the petitioner in the case had left dera 3 years ago. He said the controversies were the handiwork of drug mafia who were up in arms against them.