Eighteen years after the incident, the Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was on Monday sentenced to 20 years jail for rape and criminal intimidation and fined Rs 30 lakh. He was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in each of the two cases of rape.
The self-styled godman was in tears and pleaded for mercy as the judge sentenced him to 10 years jail in each of the two counts of rape and criminal intimidation.
While court has announced an amount of Rs 14 lakh as compensation to both the victims, NewsX has accessed one of the rape survivors firsthand account of the harrowing experience that she had to go through all these years after leaving the Dera.
Narrating her ordeal, the victim told court that the Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim manhandled and raped her. The victim said that she and her husband used to get threat calls over the phone, asking them to not appear before the CBI officer.
Here is the full statement:
“In July 1999, I started living at Dera as a Sadhvi. Other Sadhvis would ask me whether Baba had granted me pardon. Perplexed! I asked them what ‘Maafi’ (pardon) meant. I saw Sadhvis going inside Baba’s Gufa many a times. On the night of 28-29 August, 1999, I was told by the ashram in-charge that I had been called by the ‘pitaji’ inside the gufa. At about 8.30 pm, she took me inside. I rang the door bell upon which Baba opened the door. I wished him and he asked me to close the door. I tried to sit on the carpet but he asked me to sit beside him on a bed. I hesitated first but later upon his insistence, sat on the bed at some distance. He enquired about other Sadhvis and then tried to touch me but I stopped him. He then forced himself on me. When I started crying, he threatened me to not speak to anyone about the incident. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh asked me to confess if I had committed any mistake. I told him that during my college days, I knew a boy and that he was trying to defame me. He said that I was a Sadhvi and I must have control over my body and mind. He then told me that I had become impure and by this ‘act’ he will purify me. He then tried to kiss me which I resisted. He started manhandling and raped me. I told him that I treated him like god. He replied that Lord Krishna behaved likewise too. I wore my clothes and left crying. After a year, Gurmeet Ram, Rahim called me again but I refused. I was threatened that my food would be stopped. When I went in, Ram Rahim rebuked me and closed the door. When I threatened to confess everything to my brother, he said he would get him killed as he had links with influential persons. He then raped me and threatened to get my family burnt alive if I broke my silence. My brother was murdered on July 10, 2002. I got married in 2005. Later, it was because of the support I got from my father and husband that I decided to fight for justice.”