BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj appeared to defend Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh after his conviction in a rape case by a CBI court on Friday when he said one person is alleging sexual exploitation, but why those crores of devotees are not being heard. In a statement to news agency ANI, the BJP MP asked: “One person alleging sexual exploitation but crores stand with him today, why those crores of people are not being heard?”
“If even bigger incidents take place, court will also be responsible not just Dera people,” he said, adding that “Yojnabaddh tareeke se Bhartiya sanskriti ko badnaam karne ka shadyantra hai (It’s a well-planned conspiracy to tarnish the image of India’s culture)”.
Self-styled godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was convicted of rape by a CBI court in Panchkula, triggering widespread violence and arson in
Haryana where 30 people were killed and over 250 injured. A curfew was imposed soon after the violence and several other places. Arson by the frenzied followers of the head of Dera Sacha Sauda was also witnessed in Delhi, Punjab and Rajasthan within a few hours of the pronouncement of the judgment by the CBI court here in the 2002 case.
CBI judge Jagdeep Singh held Ram Rahim, the 50-year-old Dera chief, guilty of rape in a case that was registered on the basis of an anonymous written complaint in 2002 that he had sexually exploited two female followers.