Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh has been pronounced guilty after a special CBI court in Panchkula on Friday pronounced his verdict in alleged raping of two women at his ashram.
The following in the timeline in the case of rape and sexual exploitation against Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh:
2002: Anonymous letters written to then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court by two female disciples (Sadhvis) alleging they were raped and sexually exploited by Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
July 2002: Former sect manager, Ranjit Singh, mysteriously murdered in July 2002. Singh was murdered by sect activists, allegedly because “he knew too much about activities inside the sect headquarters”.
October 2002: Sirsa-based journalist Ram Chandra Chhatrapati shot dead, allegedly by sect supporters, after he wrote about shady activities inside the sect headquarters near Sirsa in his vernacular newspaper ‘Poora Sach’.
November 2003: The Punjab and Haryana High Court orders a CBI probe into the rape and sexual exploitation of the Sadhvis by the sect chief.
December 2003: CBI begins investigation into the rape case against the sect chief.
July 2007: CBI files chargesheet against the sect chief in the rape case.
2007-17: Nearly 200 hearings of the rape case take place over 10 years. The sect chief continued to be on bail granted by the trial court (earlier located in Ambala in Haryana).
Petitions filed by the sect chief in High Court and Supreme Court. This leads to delay in case being heard by trial (CBI special court) court.
August 2017: Trial court concludes hearing. Announces August 25 for judgment in the rape and sexual exploitation case. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh told to be present in the court.