Court frames charges against dera chief Ram Rahim in castration case
The dera head, who is serving a 20-year sentence in Rohtak’s Sunaria Jail for raping two women disciples, is facing legal proceedings in two murder cases also.punjab Updated: Aug 04, 2018 09:46 IST
A special CBI court here on Friday charged incarcerated Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and two of his doctors for forcible castration of dera followers.
The dera head, who is serving a 20-year sentence in Rohtak’s Sunaria Jail for raping two women disciples, is facing legal proceedings in two murder cases also.
While Ram Rahim was charged under Sections 417 (cheating), 326 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the two doctors — MP Singh and Pankaj Garg — believed to be closely involved with the castration process, were charged under Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 326 of the IPC.
Sarabjeet Singh, counsel for Dr Singh said: “Charges were framed and the next hearing is scheduled for August 17. Now, the prosecution will submit evidences in the case before the court.”
Dr Singh is also in judicial custody in the Ambala jail in connection with Panchkula violence of August 25 last year that took place following the conviction of the dera head in the rape case. His conviction had triggered arson and violence across Haryana that claimed 36 lives and injured over 250 people.
While Ram Rahim appeared before special CBI judge Kapil Rathi through video-conferencing, the two doctors appeared in person.
‘Were made landowners, then castrated’
Talking to the media, prosecution witness Gurdas Singh Tuhar said: “I was a ‘sadhu’ in the dera when the castrations took place. The followers were first made landowners and then castrated. The power of attorney was taken from them and the land was subsequently transferred to the Dera Sacha Sauda Trust.”
‘Printing press, hospitals used for castration’
The CBI, in its chargesheet filed on February 1, said an old printing press building in Sirsa and two charity hospitals of the dera were used for carrying out mass castrations. The CBI said the Shah Satnamji Speciality Hospital inside the dera precincts in Sirsa was another spot for illegal castrations. Another charitable hospital — Shah Satnamji General Hospital — at the dera chief’s ancestral village in Rajasthan’s Gurusar Modia village was the third spot identified by the CBI for mass castrations.
As per the CBI chargesheet, a dera follower-turned-complainant had submitted a list containing names of 166 dera followers who were allegedly castrated at the behest of Ram Rahim at dera properties, including the main headquarters in Sirsa in the early 2000.
The CBI claimed that 128 of the allegedly castrated followers were contacted and examined during the probe. Six of them became CBI’s main witness who deposed against the dera chief and revealed that they were castrated at his behest by Dr Singh and Dr Garg.
Prove was handed over to CBI in 2014
Handing over the probe to the CBI in December 2014, the Punjab and Haryana high court had rapped Haryana Police for letting “grass to grow under its feet” and conducting “worthless investigation” in the case allegedly involving Ram Rahim. The order came nearly two years after petitioner Hans Raj Chauhan of Fatehabad district alleged that the followers were castrated after giving them the false hope that “males who would get castrated would be able to achieve God through Ram Rahim”.
Criminal cases against dera chief
Ram Rahim is already serving a 20-year sentence for raping his two female devotees. He was convicted by a CBI court in 2017.
Status: Imprisoned in Rohtak’s Sunaria jail
Ranjit Singh murder case
Charged by the CBI as a key conspirator for allegedly murdering a dera follower, Ranjit Singh. Singh was murdered on July 10, 2002, in his native village Khanpur Kolian village of Kurukshetra
Status: The trial began in 2008 and is in final stages. Next hearing is on August 6
Journalist murder case
Facing trial for allegedly getting a Sirsa-based journalist, Ram Chander Chattarpati, murdered in November 2002.
Status: The case is being heard along with Ranjit Singh murder case and listed for August 6.
First Published: Aug 04, 2018 09:46 IST