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Dera chief Ram Rahim’s followers try to rally support, make him trend on Twitter

#RamRahimVeridct and #iSupportMSG trended on Twitter ahead of the verdict.

punjab Updated: Aug 24, 2017 17:34 IST
Ram Rahim,Haryana news,Baba Ram Rahim
A file photo of controversial religious leader Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh at a a press conference for his movie. (AP)

Even as mobile internet services were suspended in Chandigarh, Haryana and Punjab to stop rumour-mongering in the Ram Rahim rape verdict, the Dera Sacha Sauda chief figured among the top three Twitter trends on Thursday afternoon .

The hashtag #RamRahimVerdict was trending on the second spot, while the hashtag #iSupportMSG, started exclusively by his followers, was trending at the third spot.

Many citizens appalled at the state of affairs in Chandigarh as well as Ram Rahim’s enormous clout took to social media to vent their frustration . The religious leader’s followers, on the other hand, used the hashtags to talk about his various “humanitarian works”.

Many Twitter users were aghast at the behaviour of Ram Rahim’s followers who have laid siege to Chandigarh, ahead of the August 25 court verdict on the rape case Ram Rahim is accused in.

“Govt hijacked!!! Is this how responsible citizens behave? Looks like democracy will be on hold for a week. #RamRahimVerdict,” tweeted Siwa.

“Who cares what the man did in his past. RAPE IS RAPE. No one should be spared #RamRahimVerdict (sic),” wrote Mathiya.

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Followers resilient

Ram Rahim’s followers, however, used the hashtag to showcase the religious leaders charity work. They also started a rival hashtag #iSupportMSG to rally support and heap praises on their guru.

Twitter account @ITwingDSS sent the first tweet with the hashtag #iSupportMSG at 12.45 pm, which has been retweeted more than 1.9k times till now:

This tweet attracted a barrage of replies and soon after, many Twitter handles dedicated to Ram Rahim aggressively started tweeting the hashtag. Supporters remain hopeful for a verdict in favour of Ram Rahim with a dera ‘premi’ tweeting, “#iSupportMSG AND #RamRahimVerdict IS VERDICT OF GOODNESS AND JUSTICE.. GOODNESS WILL DEFINITELY WIN TOMORROW!”

The @ITwingDSS account tweeted a plethora of hastags in praise of Ram Rahim such as #60MillionStandWithMSG, #RichIndianHeritageWithMSG, #MSGgreatSocialReformer, #MSGwhoEradicatedProstitution and #MSGchangingSocietyForBetter. Many of these were retweeted in huge numbers by accounts of followers, some with the suffic ‘Insan’ in them.

For people not invested in the situation, it was an opportunity to make jokes and sarcastic comments.

“Internet will be restored on Monday to ensure people won’t miss #GameOfThrones #RamRahimVerdict,” Ganeshan Iyer tweeted.

“Baba’s fans - we are peace loving, law abiding people Also Baba’s fans- agar kuch hua to hum laashein bicha dengey #RamRahimVerdict,” Komal Verma tweeted.

First Published: Aug 24, 2017 16:45 IST