The alleged rape cases, murder, forced castrations and in 2007, the Sikhs got infuriated as he appeared to impersonate Guru Gobind Singh made the spiritual leader Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh flash in headlines.
The rape allegations against Gurmeet Ram Rahim date back to 2002 when a Dera Sandhvi wrote an anonymous letter to then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee saying she was raped by the Dera chief. The Punjab and Haryana high court took directed the CBI to register a sexual exploitation case against the Dera chief in 2002.
On Friday Gurmeet Ram Rahim was taken to the court in Panchkula where he was held guilty of rape by special CBI court. Here’s the secret world of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh:
1. Ram Rahim was born to Naseeb Kaur and Maghar Singh on 15 August 1967, at Sri Gurusar Modia village in Ganganagar district of Rajasthan. He took charge of the Dera Sacha Sauda in 1990 at age 23.
2.Gurmeet Singh’s friend Gurjant Singh was sent to jail after he was convicted avenging his uncle’s murder. In jail, Gurjant was mind-washed by separatist Khalistani militants. As soon as he came out of the jail, Gurjant became a Khalistani terrorist and rose quickly through the ranks. Gurmeet, meanwhile was a full-time worker in the dera, doing odd jobs, driving a tractor or assisting his father in seva.
3. In an unexpected turn of events, Dera head at that time, Shah Satnam announced that he would retire after handing over the leadership to a successor.
There were three contenders for the top honour and Gurmeet was not one of them. In a surprise public announcement, the Dera head anointed Gurmeet Singh as his successor and gave him the name Huzoor Maharaj Gurmeet Ram Rahim.
People in Sirsa maintain that Gurjant Singh and a revolver were involved in the process. There is no evidence of any threat of violence, but people still attribute Gurmeet’s rise to Gurjant’s notoriety. Gurjant was later killed by security forces in Mohali.
4. His love for shiny costumes and other material things took an obsessive tone later. He had a son and two daughters when he became a celibate. The family that he publicly renounced continued to be with him in his dera quarters. He himself was surrounded by sadhikas (women devotee attendees). He later adopted a bubbly young girl Honeypreet as his third daughter. The three call themselves Papa’s Angels. All other devotees also call him Pitaji or Papa ji. Honeypreet is the same woman who accompanied Baba Ram Rahim while he was being flown in a helicopter from the police lines complex in Panchkula.
He later adopted a bubbly young girl Honeypreet as his third daughter. The three call themselves Papa’s Angels.
5. Similar to the concept of the harem in palaces, he would choose girls from among the devotees, make them surrender their bodies before him and these women would later remain in the dera and wait for being married off to male devotees who followed his orders like slaves or devotees do.
These women were guarded by men allegedly neutered or castrated by the dera. This was not a secret. His private quarters were always guarded by his trusted gang of girls. The rape, by the way, was called an act of pardon (maafi to be precise). Some women, as was later revealed, believed it was a blessing.
6. In May 2007, Singh was accused of hurting the religious sentiments of the Sikhs by wearing, in an advertisement, an attire, resembling the tenth and final living Sikh Guru Gobind Singh, by using a turban with a kalgi.
7. Singh is a man of style and owns a Range Rover SUV and usually has a convoy of 100 vehicles following him. He owns some of the weirdest and tackiest cars:
8. The self-styled godman has also directed and acted in movies such as MSG: The Messenger of God, MSG 2 the Messenger, Jattu Engineer, Hind Ka NaPak Ko Jawab and MSG The Warrior Lion Heart.
9. He was the lead choreographer, singer, director, and producer in these movies. The Baba has also released several albums glorifying himself which have been welcomed by his followers.
10. He was ranked 96th in the Indian Express list of 100 most powerful Indians in 2015.
- In 2002, the followers of Dera sent an anonymous letter to the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, accusing the Dera chief of sexual abuse.
- Singh was accused of hurting the religious sentiments of the Sikhs by dressing up like Guru Gobind Singh.
- Singh had murder charges levied against him for the murder of journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati of a local evening daily newspaper ‘Poora Sachh’, who was writing articles at the time about Dera Sacha Sauda, and for the murder of Dera Sacha Sauda manager Ranjit Singh.