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‘You gotta be kidding’: Gurmeet Ram Rahim, Honeypreet get a tweet from the UN

Twitter users were baffled after UN Water tweeted to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and his adopted daughter Honeypreet.

india Updated: Oct 04, 2017 20:50 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Gurmeet Ram Rahim,Honeypreet,UN Water
Honeypreet Insan is seen with Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh at the promotion of the film ‘‘MSG - The Warrior Lion Heart’’ in Bengaluru.(PTI File Photo)

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and Honeypreet Insan have been at the centre of a social media storm ever since the former’s conviction in a rape case, but on Wednesday, they were tagged in an unexpected tweet from the United Nations.

Twitter users were baffled after UN Water, the official account of the United Nations arm, tweeted to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and his adopted daughter Honeypreet to join their campaign on World Toilet Day.

UN marks World Toilet Day on November 19 annually.

The tweet posted by the account on Wednesday read: “Dear @insan_honey, we hope you & @Gurmeetramrahim will lend your voice and support #WorldToiletDay (sic).” The tweet was deleted later in the day.

Self-styled godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who has lakhs of followers, was sentenced to 20 years in jail in August for raping two of his followers. But it seems that whoever is handling the UN Water handle was oblivious to the news.

It was even more bizarre that Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and Honeypreet Insan are the only people tagged by the UN Water handle in their tweets. All the other tweets promoting the World Toilet Day campaign -- and there are quite a few -- just advertise the campaign, without inviting any one else. In fact, the account had tweeted to Singh a day earlier as well.

A Congress member, Priyanka Chaturvedi‏, commented on the tweet: “Is Haryana government handling your account UN Water?”

Some speculated if the person who had tweeted for UN Water was a supporter of the ‘Baba’ while others just hoped it was a “badly executed joke”. Few users simply found the scenario amusing.

An occasional follower jumped in to the conversation: 

The Dera chief’s adopted daughter Honeypreet Insan -- her real name is Priyanka Taneja -- was arrested a day before on charges of instigating Dera followers after Singh’s sentencing. At least 41 people were killed violence by his followers and subsequent police action in Haryana and Punjab.

Honeypreet has been accused by her former husband of having a sexual relationship with her mentor, Gurmeet Ram Rahim.

The religious sect boasts of lakhs of followers across India and remained active on social media websites even after Singh’s jail sentence.

Political experts say the sect commands a strong presence among Dalits and economically backward sections of the society because it provides an alternative space for social, spiritual and cultural fulfilment to those disillusioned by the caste hierarchy.

The Dera maintains a strong stand against liquor and drug abuse, and its website claims the sect has conducted several campaigns, including cleanliness, medical camps, blood donations drives etc. The sect, which has a cult following, also observes various UN -designated international days such as World Environment Day and International Anti-Corruption Day.

First Published: Oct 04, 2017 13:04 IST