After 200 hearings spread over 10 years and numerous stay orders of higher courts, a CBI special trial court in Panchkula on Friday convicted Dera Sacha Sauda
chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim
Singh, in a case related to raping his female followers. The court will pronounce the sentencing on Monday.
Since Wednesday, parts of Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh have been under a security lockdown as 200,000 supporters of Ram Rahim had assembled in Panchkula ahead of the verdict.
Schools, colleges, and government offices remained closed, and train and bus services have been curtailed. The army was on standby, while police and paramilitary forces were patrolling sensitive areas. Mobile internet and data services had been suspended in Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh for 72 hours.
Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insaan is a multi-faceted personality. Here are 10 interesting facts about the cult leader
Gurmeet Ram Rahim's background
1. Guru Ram Rahim Singh was born to Naseeb Kaur and Maghar Singh on August 15, 1967, in Sriganganagar, Rajasthan. He was the only child of his parents and started helping his father by driving a tractor on their field. He is married to Harjeet Kaur and has three daughters and a son. They all use Insan as their last name.
2. Gurmeet's rise in Dera Sacha Sauda
Gurmeet Ram Rahim
is head of the India-based socio-spiritual organisation Dera Sacha Sauda, which was founded by Shah Mastana of Baluchistan in 1948. Shah Satnam succeeded Mastana and remained head from 1948 to 1960. Rahim's father was a devote followers Satnam. On September 23, 1990, Shah Satnam held a satsang where he publicly conferred succession of the spiritual leadership upon Gurmeet Ram Rahim.
Rahim was 23 years old then. He launched his 'MSG' range of "swadeshi and organic" products about two years ago. The business is looked after by the Dera chief's children.
3. Ram Rahim - the 'pied piper'
Gurmeet Ram Rahim
has a massive following of over 200,000. On Twitter, he has a following of 3.74 million followers. This number is way more than Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (2.26 million) and yoga guru Ramdev (938K) Twitter following. On Facebook, he has 683,192 followers and 673,278 people have liked his page.
Apart from being a spiritual guru with millions of followers, he is also a singer, actor and entrepreneur. He has made movies such as Messenger of God, MSG 2. The movies showed him as swashbuckling, bike riding, rhinestone-clothes wearing saviour of the human kind. In the sequel of MSG, he sang six songs in six different voices. He has released successful albums like ‘Love Charger’, ‘Chora Babbar Sher Ka’, ‘Network Tere Love Ka’, ‘Love Rab Se’ and ‘Thank You For That’. An adventure lover, Baba, in one of his concerts sang a song called ‘Chocolate’ by suspending himself at 30 feet above ground level in a moving crane.
5. Gurmeet Ram Rahim's lavish lifestyle
He drives a Range Rover SUV and has a convoy of 100 vehicles which includes 16 black Ford Endeavours. Ram Rahim's Facebook page identifies him as Spiritual Saint/ Philanthropist/ Versatile Singer/ All-rounder Sportsperson/ Film Director/ Actor/ Art Director/ Music Director/ Writer/ Lyricist/ Autobiographer/ DOP/ Action Director/ Choreographer/ Editor/ Music Composer/ DI Head/ Costume Designer.
6. Gurmeet Ram Rahim's arrest
Gurmeet Ram Rahim
Singh Insan has been convicted in a rape case by a CBI court. In 2002, one of his female followers alleged that she and two other females were raped by Ram Rahim in his den when she entered his secret chamber where he was watching a blue film. The rape victim later wrote a letter to the then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the Judges of Punjab and Haryana court. In her letter, she accused this Rockstar Baba of raping her. The court ordered a CBI probe. In 2007, CBI charged this Saint under sections 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of Indian Penal Code.
7. Gurmeet Ram Rahim's followers
The 'rockstar' baba is known for giving spiritual discourse in more modern ways. From 'naam charcha' to 'Ru-ba-ru nights', Ram Rahim is a cult figure among his followers. On his birthday this year, 125 Ram Rahim admirers and followers simultaneously lit 1,50,000 candles on a single birthday cake.
8. Gurmeet Ram Rahim's influence over leaders
Gurmeet Ram Rahim
Singh is one of the 36 people in the country who enjoys a VVIP Status and a Z level security cover. This is because he is a well-known wielder of influence amongst politicians in Haryana, Rajasthan, and Punjab. His organization supported BJP in the Bihar assembly election in 2015, and nearly 3000 Dera followers campaigned for BJP in the state.
9. Gurmeet Ram Rahim's philanthropy
His 'devotees' hail him for his social service. From working during Gujarat earthquake to organising biggest blood donation camps, the Ram Rahim has encouraged supporters done it all. The Dera followers have also created 'World Record' for organising largest blood donation camp in December 2003, in which more than 15000 donors participated.
10. Ram Rahim's 53 world records
According to TOI, He has received an honorary doctorate degree from the UK-based World Records University. "Ram Rahim has 53 world records in various categories, out of which 17 are Guinness records, 27 are Asia Book records, 7 India Book records and 2 are Limca records. Basically, Babaji's personality is an all-round one, which we considered. In the five years of India operations, the university has awarded around 100 Indians so far," the university had said in a statement.