A special CBI court on Monday sentenced Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment. The dera chief was convicted of rape on August 25.
Before CBI judge Jagdeep Singh read out the sentence, dera followers burnt two cars in Sirsa. Last week, 38 people were killed in the subsequent violence after the court held him guilty of raping two of his followers.
Earlier today, CBI judge Jagdeep Singh was flown in a helicopter to Sunaria Jail, where a special court room was set up for pronouncing the quantum of sentence in a rape case.
A three-tier security ring has been installed around Rohtak’s Sunaria district jail. The administration has issued a stern warning and is keeping vigil in the states of Haryana, Punjab and Delhi ahead of the announcement of sentence keeping in mind the violence that broke out after the verdict was announced where 38 people were killed.
As a judge sentenced him to 10 years in jail today, self-styled spiritual guru Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh refused to leave the courtroom and wept, begging for leniency. “Mujhe maaf kar do (forgive me),” pleaded the flamboyant chief of the Dera Sacha Sauda sect, who claims a legion of followers.
The moment the sentence was announced, he broke down, fell to the floor and cried.
“Main begunah hoon (I am innocent),” he wailed before being led out of court by commandos.
Known for his weakness for rhinestone, sequins and bling, the baba – prisoner number 1997 – was taken for a medical examination after which he would be given standard issue prison wear.