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Ram Rahim case | Followers were told: ‘Don’t miss chance to catch glimpse of Guruji’

PLAYING WITH FAITH? Local representatives of Dera Sacha Sauda told followers to visit Panchkula in large numbers without revealing the matter of the rape case verdict.

punjab Updated: Aug 27, 2017 15:09 IST
Saurabh Duggal
Saurabh Duggal
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Ram Rahim,Ram Rahim rape verdict,Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh
In dera centres across Punjab and Haryana, the announcements were made during the daily discourse on August 21 and 22. It stated that followers should visit Panchkula in large numbers.(HT File)

In her mid-20s and three months’ pregnant, Garima accompanied her mother, Kiran, from Kurukshetra to Panchkula on Friday morning. They were answering to the call of the local dera representative who insisted that followers should not miss a chance of paying homage to their chief, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who was visiting Panchkula on August 25.

They claimed that they did not know it was for the hearing in a rape case. What they witnessed instead of a ‘sangat’ darshan, scared them for life. “We were told during the regular ‘satsangs’ at Mirzapur village that Guruji will be visiting Panchkula on August 25 and the ‘sangat’ — followers — should visit him,” said Kiran, whose husband is a vegetable hawker.

She added, “My daughter came home two days ago. She is pregnant, so I thought it would be good for her to receive Guruji’s blessings. I especially brought her to Panchkula, but it was my fault. I never knew that this would happen here, otherwise I would have avoided coming here at all. Thankfully, I didn’t bring my seven-year-old son along.”

In dera centres across Punjab and Haryana, the announcements were made during the daily discourse on August 21 and 22. It stated that followers should visit Panchkula in large numbers. But what was not disclosed was the sinister plan to be present for the hearing as a pressure tactics.

Garima and Kiran were rounded up by Panchkula police and spent the night at the Sector-5 women’s police station. However, it was later decided to release children, pregnant women and old ladies.

“Many families in our locality are dera followers. At least one member of each family came here. The local incharge, Kunti, visited our house several times to make sure that we visit Panchkula,” said Kiran.

First Published: Aug 26, 2017 23:55 IST