In less than 48 hours, the Panchkula District Court will deliver its verdict in 2007 rape case against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. The self-styled spiritual leader who cult following among many people from Punjab and Haryana is accused of raping two female followers at his sprawling complex in Sirsa, Haryana.
Spiritual leader Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, age 50, has the sort of following in Punjab and Haryana that politicians would kill for. Thousands of supporters of the Guru of Bling as he is known have begun mapping the routes between their villages and a court in Haryana, which is expected on Friday to decide whether he is guilty of raping two women followers nearly 15 years ago.
Here are 10 major updates in this story
- Section 144 has been imposed in Haryana with state authorities declaring a Gazetted holiday in government offices on August 24 and 25, news agency ANI reported on Wednesday.
- Haryana authorities have stopped the services of roadway buses plying to Chandigarh and Panchkula. The administration has directed to stop bus service from Wednesday till further orders.
- According to reports, all schools and colleges falling under the Tricity region of Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali have been closed down as a precautionary measure. The roads leading to the Panchkula District Court have been blocked for any vehicular movement.
- According to an NDTV report, over 7,000 policemen have been deployed in areas where Ram Rahim has massive following.
- The supporters of the spiritual leader have started gathering in and around Panchkula. Over 60,000 supporters have already reached Panchkula, a Zee News report said.
- The Bling Baba as he is popularly known as, Ram Rahim is a cult figure among his followers, who can go to any length to support him.
- Punjab DGP Suresh Arora has informed officials that petrol bombs and sharp weapons are being collected by supporters of Dera Sacha Sauda.
- The Chandigarh administration has turned a huge cricket stadium as a makeshift jail for those caught creating law and order situation.
- From food products to movies, from eating joints to rap songs, there’s isn’t much that Ram Rahim can’t do.
- Maker of ‘hit’ movies such as MSG: The Messenger of God and MSG2, the 50-year-old has self-styled godman has been accused of killing a journalist also. Amid tension in both states, Ram Rahim took to Twitter to give a message of “selfless service and meditation” to his followers.