The controversial self-styled godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim – who headed a Haryana-based deraa wielding considerable political clout and financial muscle – will serve a 20 year jail term for raping two two women followers in 2002.
The Dera Sacha Sauda head was found guilty on Friday, and sentencing was done today (28 Aug 2017), but not before a violent reaction from his followers, at Panchkula in northern Haryana state, that killed some 38 people.
He will serve 10 years each for two rapes that will run consecutively, and not concurrently as was understood initially.
Special CBI judge Jagdeep Singh announced the sentence in the special court created at the Sunaria Jail in Rohtak, reports The Tribune, adding that the dera chief has also been slapped a fine of Rs 30 lakh.
Defence lawyer S K Garg Narwana said the court fined the dera chief Rs 15 lakh in each rape case. Of the Rs 30 lakh, Rs 14 lakh each would go to the two victims who were part of his sect and were coerced into having sex with him, the report added.
The case took 15 years to complete.
The 50-year old Ram Rahim was not taken to court to hear his sentence. Instead, the judge who convicted him was flown to the prison in the town of Rohtak where he is being held.
A lawyer for the victims said 50 women had come forward with allegations of rape and they would be seeking further investigation in the case.
“We believe there are at least 48 more victims who were sexually abused and who may have been killed or are too scared to come out and testify against Ram Rahim,” lawyer Utsav Singh Bains told AFP.
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