The CBI Wednesday registered a case against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and others in connection with the alleged forced castration of around 400 followers at his Sirsa-based ashram.
The agency would now question Ram Rahim as part of its investigation into the case, the CBI officers said, adding that the case was registered under IPC sections for criminal conspiracy, voluntarily causing grievous hurt, criminal intimidation and punishment for cheating. The FIR was registered on an order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on December 23.
“A civil writ petition was filed in the High Court in 2012 by Hans Raj Chauhan alias Hakiki, a follower of Dera Sacha Sauda, demanding a CBI inquiry and compensation for his castration in Dera Sacha Sauda in 2000. The petitioner alleged that around 400 devotees of Gurmeet Ram Rahim from Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan were castrated at the ashram under the false claim made by Gurmeet Ram Rahim that it would lead to realisation of God through him,” said a CBI spokesperson.
Justice K Kannan in December had passed the order on the petition ordering a CBI inquiry into the alleged incident. Taking cognizance of the plea, the High Court had ordered medical examination of petitioner Chauhan from a government multi-speciality hospital, which found that he had been castrated. In a report submitted to the High Court, the state government had also stated that seven persons associated with the Dera chief had given statements confirming that they had been castrated.
Ram Rahim is also facing trial in connection with alleged sexual exploitation of women followers at the Dera. He is also facing charges of murder in connection with the death of Sirsa-based journalist Ram Chander Chatrapati, who had been writing about the ashram’s activities.
HC to hear Gurmeet’s plea today
A division bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday would hear the appeal by Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh challenging its single bench judgment of ordering a CBI probe against him for forced castrations at his Sirsa-based ashram. The appeal would come up for hearing before the division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice SJ Vazifdar and Justice Augustine George Masih. The Dera head in his appeal has submitted that the petitioner, Hans Raj Chauhan, remained silent for 14 years after his alleged castration and even did not approach the police for registration of his complaint. Ram Rahim in his plea also said that castration was performed after taking consent from the individual.