Gurmeet Ram Rahim has been in prison since August 2017 and technically has served the minimum sentence of one year to become eligible for parole. Under the Act, he does not fall under the category of hardcore prisoner who becomes entitled for temporary release only after completion of five years imprisonment.
On the day Bittu was murdered, about 20-30 persons had gathered in Bargari village gurdwara and even at Burj Jawahar Singh Wala and had done ardas to justify action inside Nabha jail, said sources. But by and large, villagers have stayed neutral.
In August of 2017, the Dera chief was sentenced to 20 years in jail for raping two women. A special CBI court in Panchkula had in January this year also sentenced him and three others to life imprisonment for the murder of a journalist over 16 years ago.
Thousands of followers, who call themselves ‘premis’ and address dera chief as ‘pitaji’, gathered at the dera’s Naam Charcha Ghar (prayer hall) at village Gahaur of Ludhiana Sunday where members of the political wing addressed them. They were told to “stay united” and “not let outsiders break their unity”.
Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh sentencing HIGHLIGHT: The case dates back to 2002 when the journalist was murdered in Sirsa city in Haryana after he ran a story in his newspaper, 'Poora Sach', about the alleged sexual exploitation of women by the Dera chief.
According to the CBI investigation, Ranjeet Singh, a member of dera’s influential 10-member committee, was shot dead by Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s followers on July 10, 2002 on the orders of the dera chief, who had suspected his role in circulation of the letter.
In Punjab, the Dera supported the Congress in the 2007 Assembly polls. In 2012, however, it chose to remain neutral, and followers were left to decide on their own. In the 2014 Haryana Assembly elections, however, the Dera came out in full support of the BJP.
Major violence had taken place in Panchkula and Sirsa in August 2017 when the Dera chief was convicted in a rape case. Despite the court awarding 20 years imprisonment, Gurmeet Ram Rahim is still heading the Sirsa situated Dera Sacha Sauda.
The search and sanitisation operations has started inside the Dera Saccha Sauda headquarters at Haryana’s Sirsa on Friday morning. The raids, led by the Punjab and Haryana police, are expected to last over a week. To know more about the story warch out the video.