Ajay Sura| TNN |
- The first-hand accounts of the sufferings of the two sadhvis eventually sealed the fate of Dera chief.
- According to these statements, the survivors stated that while raping, Gurmeet used to flaunt his status as ‘god’.
- Only female disciples were deployed to guard his underground living quarters, the statement said.
CHANDIGARH: It was more than 10 years after their rapes that the two survivors finally recorded their statements before the judges in 2009 and 2010. These first-hand accounts of the sufferings of the two sadhvis eventually sealed the fate of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, leading to his conviction on Friday.
In their depositions on oath before CBI judges, the sadhvis had given the sequences of events, narrating horrifying tales of how the “powerful Baba” used to rape them and other women of the dera inside his ‘gufa’ (a customised underground chamber that was his personal residence).
According to these statements, copies of which are with TOI, the survivors stated that while raping, Gurmeet used to flaunt his ‘clout’ and his status as ‘god’. They also disclosed that the word ‘maafi’ (pardon) was the code used among disciples to describe rapes. Only female disciples were deployed to guard his underground living quarters, the statement said.
The survivors said in their depositions that most of the girls chose to stay inside the dera after being impressed with his stature as a spiritual leader and also because their family members were his staunch followers.
According to one survivor, from Yamunanagar in Haryana, who deposed before special CBI judge A K Verma on February 28, 2009, she started living in the dera in July 1999 because of her brother, who was later murdered reportedly for seeking justice for his sister.
The sadhvi said initially she did not understand when female disciples used to ask her whether she had been “granted maafi by pitaji”. This became clear when she was called inside the “gufa” on August 28/29, 1999, and raped by Gurmeet.
Another sadhvi deposed on September 9, 2010, that she joined the dera in June 1998 and was given the name Nazam by Gurmeet. A native of Sirsa, she became a follower because of her parents and used to teach at the dera.
In September 1999, when she was guarding the ‘gufa’, she was called inside and raped by the dera head, who threatened her not to talk about the crime to anyone.