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Above: Gurmeet Ram Rahim (file picture). Photo: UNI

There was a classic twist in the tale of Dera Sachha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s sentencing in the rape cases in which he was convicted on Friday. The Panchkula CBI court, which held a special sitting in Rohtak’s Sunaria jail, on Monday (August 28), to announce the quantum of punishment for the rapist godman appeared to be a trifle lenient for a better part of the day as news reports flashed that the Dera chief had been given a 10-year term instead of the life sentence that many had been demanding for him.

However, by Monday evening, it emerged that the hypocritical, rapist, self-styled godman was condemned to serve not 10 but a total of 20 years in prison – 10 each for raping the two sevikas at his Dera Sacha Sauda ashram in 2002.

“The judge announced 10 years of imprisonment and Rs 15 lakh fine each in two cases and has ordered Rs 14 lakh each to be paid to both victims,” SK Narwana, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s lawyer, told news agency ANI. The lawyer clarified that the “total sentence is 20(10 + 10) years”and explained that the Dera chief will have to serve the sentences consecutively and not concurrently, as was being reported till Monday evening. Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar and CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal also confirmed that the rapist godman will serve a total of 20 years in jail.

The rock star Baba, full of brawn, cheap talk and muscle, with strings to pull at top political levels and loads of cash to throw around, showed his true bully self in court, breaking down and groveling at the feet of justice, begging for leniency as CBI’s brave judge Jagdeep Singh delivered his verdict in a packed courtroom.

The Baba’s lawyer had also prayed for leniency, citing that Ram Rahim was a social worker who has done a lot of good for people and also because he was a public figure. The judge, understandably, was not moved.

Trouble had started even before the judgment, with the pervert Baba’s ignorant followers burning a car in the area. This was a follow-up of Friday’s mad outrage in which 38 people died and over 200 were injured across three states, including Delhi.

For Monday’s hearing, unprecedented security had been arranged. The army was on stand-by, needing only a half-hour notice to enter. No civilians were allowed within 10 km of the prison.

India Legal Bureau

(Detailed story to follow)

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