Controversial self-styled godman Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh was today sentenced to 20 years in prison following his conviction after a prolonged trial in two rape cases. CBI special court judge Jagdeep Singh, who was flown in to Rohtak Monday, pronounced the quantum of punishment on Monday at a special court set up inside the District Jail premises in Sunaria near Rohtak, Haryana, where the godman was lodged following his conviction. Singh pronounced two sentences of 10 years rigorous imprisonment in each of the two cases that date back to 2002, said defence lawyer S K Garg Narwana. The judge also fined the Dera chief Rs 15 lakh in each of the two cases, of which Rs 14 lakh each would go to the two victims.
Security was tightened in Punjab and Haryana following the violence that Dera followers resorted to on Friday after the court held the sect’s chief guilty of rape and criminal intimidation of the two female disciples in 2002. A multi-layered security cordon was thrown around the Rohtak jail where the special court was set up in view of the violence that claimed at least 38 lives on Friday. Rohtak District Collector (DC) Atul Kumar had earlier said that the police would not hesitate to shoot at sight if anti-social elements try to disturb the law and order situation in the area. Panchkula, Sirsa, Uttar Pradesh and neighbouring areas have been on high alert, with paramilitary forces deployed in various pockets of the states. While Section 144 is already in place in Rohtak, curfew also continues to be enforced in Sirsa.
Here are the LIVE updates of the sentencing of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh from Rohtak:
10:46 pm: Curfew to be relaxed in Sirsa between 7 am-7 pm tomorrow
09:31 pm: Curfew imposed in Punjab's Barnala from 9 pm tonight to 9 am tomorrow
07: 27 pm: Both sentences in Dera chief rape cases to run consecutively for a total of 20 years jail: CBI spokesperson.
07:18 pm: Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh sentenced to 20 years (10-10 in both cases). Both sentences to run consecutively: CBI Spokesperson Abhishek Dayal
07:12 pm: Total sentence is 20(10-10) yrs,both sentences not consecutive but sentence of 376 & 506 would run concurrently: SK Narwana, Ram Rahim lawyer
07:02 pm: Judge announced 10 yrs imprisonment and Rs.15 lakh fine each in 2 cases & Rs.14 lakh each to be paid to both victims: Ram Rahim Singh's lawyer
06:59 pm: Ram Rahim has been given two 10-year prison sentences which will run subsequently
06:16 pm: I also know about the castration of Sadhus at the Dera: Gurdas Singh Tur
06:15 pm: I approached the CBI with my version, they refused to believe me: Gurdas Singh Tur
06:14 pm: I worked in the printing press at the Dera: Gurdas Singh Tur, former sewadar at Dera
06:13 pm: Kuldeep and Nirmal were arrested for the murder of Ram Chander Chhatrapati: Gurdas Singh Tur
06:12 pm: Ram Rahim trained two peole, Kuldeep and Nirmal, to shoot with his revolver. I witnessed this and a few days later, journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati was shot dead: Gurdas Singh Tur, former sewadar at Dera
06:04 pm: Nothing happens without his (Ram Rahim) approval. Whatever happened in Panchkula was planned by him: Khatta Singh
05:57 pm: I was something like a manager at Dera: Khatta Singh
05:49 pm: I used to do a lot of work on Dera, people believed I was a driver because I used to sit in the car: Khatta Singh
05:46 pm: Parents do not believe the girls when they tell their stories: Khatta Singh
05:45 pm: He (Ram Rahim) calls them daughters but if you get conduct medical checkup of them, you will find out: Khatta Singh
05: 40 pm: I personally did not see anything but girls told me: Khatta Singh, Dera chief Ram Rahim Singh's former manager
05:39 pm: Many girls herself told me about what they had been through: Khatta Singh
05:38 pm: I have witnessed murders, exploitation of girls at Dera: Khatta Singh
05:37 pm: I want to appeal to girls to come forward and tell their ordeal to the world: Khatta Singh
05:36 pm: Nobody knows the exact number of girls who have been gone through this, 200 or 250: Khatta Singh
05:33 pm: He (Ram Rahim) thought he was too powerful and nobody could touch him, says Khatta Singh, Dera chief's former manager
04:20 pm: Army conducts flag march in Haryana 's Sirsa after sentencing of Ram Rahim Singh in rape case
04:17 pm: Law took its own course, this should be accepted by all: Anil Jain, BJP general secretary, party in-charge for Haryana affairs
04:15 pm: This verdict is a tribute to the memory of my father: Anshul Chhatrapati, son of journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati
04:14 pm: We had hoped for life imprisonment but I have been told that this is maximum sentence under the old law. I welcome this judgement: Anshul Chhatrapati, son of journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati, who was killed for exposing the rape cases against Ram Rahim in 2002
04:09 pm: Ram Rahim Singh has been sentenced to 10 years rigorous imprisonment after being convicted under Section 377, Section 506 and Section 511 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
04:07 pm: A fine of Rs 65,000 has also been imposed on Dera chief Ram Rahim Singh
04:05 pm: Ram Rahim Singh is still crying inside the courtroom
03:57 pm: Haryana CM ML Khattar calls an emergency meeting of senior state officials, party leaders and ministers at his residence in Chandigarh
03:50 pm: CBI special court judge Jagdeep Singh pulls up jail officials for according VIP treatment to Ram Rahim
03:48 pm: Haryana CM ML Khattar calls meeting to review security situation after Ram Rahim's sentencing
03:47 pm: This (sentence) must be accepted by the people and peace must prevail: Capt Amarinder Singh, Punjab CM
03:45 pm: Ram Rahim's medical condition found to be normal
03:43 pm: Ram Rahim Singh refuses to leave the courtroom
03:40 pm: There is total normalcy in Punjab, we will not let any mishap take place in the state: Capt Amarinder Singh
03:39 pm: Medical examination of Ram Rahim Singh is being done, after this he will be given a jail uniform and will be allotted a cell in jail, reports ANI
03:38 pm: Ram Rahim Singh breaks down after 10 years imprisonment, sits on floor in courtroom
03:30 pm: 10 years rigorous imprisonment for Dera chief Ram Rahim Singh in rape case
03:25 pm: Two cars torched by Dera Sacha Sauda followers in Phoolka area of Haryana's Sirsa
3:04 pm: CBI judge Jagdeep Singh starts reading the quantum of sentence.
3:00 pm: Ram Rahim breaks down before CBI judge Jagdeep Singh, pleads forgiveness.
Rape case: Defence argues #RamRahimSingh is a social worker who has worked for welfare of people, so judge should take a lenient view.— ANI (@ANI) August 28, 2017
2:41 pm: Prosecution demands maximum punishment for Ram Rahim.
2:40 pm: Special CBI judge Jagdeep Singh has allotted 10 minutes each to both sides to put forth their arguments
01:55 pm: Ram Rahim's lawyer SK Narwana reaches makeshift court in Rohtak Jail ahead of quantum of sentence hearing
11:36 am: Meeting on Punjab, Haryana situation at North Block ends. Officials have been directed to continuously monitor the situation
11:20 am: Around 2,300 soldiers are guarding the Rohtak jail where CBi judge will announce the quantum of sentence at 2:30 pm.
11:19 am: CBI judge Jagdeep Singh leaves for Rohtak jail, will land in a chopper within 40 minutes.
SP sahab told me Police will investigate but nothing happened yet. Dera members have threatened to face consequences if we complain: Brother pic.twitter.com/NSTgvNBPvq— ANI (@ANI) August 28, 2017
10:56 am: Meeting is underway at North Block to discuss security situation in Punjab, Haryana ahead of #RamRahimSingh's sentencing
10:55 am: HM Rajnath Singh, NSA Ajit Doval, Home Secy, Director IB & other Home Ministry officials present at ongoing meeting in North Block
10:36 am: Situation in Haryana tense but under control, Army conducting flag march in sensitive areas, says MHA
10:35 am: Objectionable items were kept hidden in fields, interrogation underway: Navdeep Singh Virk, IGP Rohtak Range
Have recovered around 100 objectionable items including batons from Sonipat's Bahalgarh Dera: Navdeep Singh Virk, IGP Rohtak Range pic.twitter.com/YWM2S70d3e— ANI (@ANI) August 28, 2017
09:57 am: Have multi-layered security to see people don't gather, or any untoward incident takes place: Navdeep Singh Virk,IGP Rohtak Range
09:53 am: If any unidentified person tries to go near high security area at Sunaria jail complex, 'shoot at sight' can be implemented:IGP Rohtak Range
09:52 am: 23 Dera followers arrested in Punjab's Sangrur till now, reports ANI
07:49 am: There are no metro rail diversions or restrictions, these are just rumors to propagate false stories: Delhi Police PRO Madhur Verma
07:48 am: No need to panic, Delhi Police has made proper arrangements and deployment. Additional forces mobilized: Delhi Police PRO Madhur Verma
07: 43 am: Internet services have resumed in Chandigarh
07:33 am: Several barricades with strong police & paramilitary presence set up, ready to deal with any eventuality: IGP Rohtak Range
07:32 am: We have ensured no Dera follower is allowed to enter the entire Rohtak district or move around jail: Navdeep Singh Virk, IGP Rohtak Range
Thousands of followers of Ram Rahim resorted to arson and violence in several places in Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan soon after the Dera Sacha Sauda chief was convicted by the CBI court in Panchkula last week in a 15-year-old rape case. The deadly bloodshed left as many as 38 people dead and over 250 injured. Ripples were also felt in Delhi and Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh.
Facing flak over the massive violence, the state government had suspended Ashok Kumar, the Deputy Commissioner of Police in Panchkula, saying his "defective" prohibitory orders allowed the crowd build-up in the district.