The rape conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh has spurred a Rajasthan man’s quest for justice.
Kamlesh Kumar, a 27-year-old labourer from Jaipur, lost his wife during a family visit to the Sirsa-based Dera on 24 March, 2015, according to his lawyer.
Kumar’s wife, Guddi, in her twenties, was allegedly taken aside by a volunteer as the “Dera Chief wanted to meet her personally”, lawyer Babulal Bairwa said.
That was the last time that Kumar saw his wife, Bairwa told reporters in Jaipur today. As Kumar and his children searched for her, some Dera volunteers asked them to wait for a couple of days.
According to Bairwa, when Guddi did not return, Kumar approached the Sirsa police, but was turned back. Left with no alternative, he moved court, he added.
On 5 May, 2015, on the directions of the court in Jaipur, an FIR was registered at the city’s Jawahar Circle police station on charges of abduction and criminal conspiracy, Bairwa said.
However, the investigating officer filed a final report in the case, having failed to record the statement of the 50- year-old flamboyant Dera chief. This prompted Kumar to file a “protest petition” in the ACJM’s court on 18 February. The matter has been listed for hearing on 7 September, Bairwa said.
When contacted, Jawahar Circle police station SHO Rajesh Soni said that the then SHO and investigating officer had filed a final report in the matter related to Kumar’s complaint but added that he was not aware of its content.
Bairwa hoped that the conviction of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a rape case by a CBI court would help Kumar to get justice. The case that got Gurmeet’s conviction was related to a woman, who lived at Dera. Just like Kumar’s wife, she too was called to meet the rapist baba in his private room, where she was raped repeatedly for several months.
Singh had threatened her of dire consequences if she wished to go public with her ordeal.
Tomorrow, CBI court judge Jagdeep Singh will be flown to the Sunaria jail in Rohtak where he would pronounce the quantum of sentence against Singh, whose conviction in a 15- year-old rape case on Friday saw his followers run riot in several places in Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan. Ripples were also felt in Delhi and Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh.
The death toll in violence and arson that immediately followed the conviction of the flamboyant chief of the sect that has millions of followers in India and abroad, meanwhile, has risen to 38, state’s Director General of Police B S Sandhu said.
(With PTI inputs)