25 September, 2020

There's The Lord, And His Gopis

The Dera is facing CBI action. Is the flare-up connected?

Tribhuvan Tiwari
There's The Lord, And His Gopis
Why did the Dera Sacha Sauda (DSS) chief, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, release a full-page ad last fortnight with himself decked up as a latter-day Guru Gobind Singh? There was no celebration to warrant the publicity. Sources say the provocative advertisement as well as the violence that followed was timed and orchestrated to send out a message on what could happen should the DSS chief be arrested in any of the three cases the CBI has filed against him—including two counts of murder and one for sexual molestation. Incidentally, the tamasha was unleashed 10 days before the CBI deadline to submit its final report to the court.

At the core of Baba Gurmeet Singh's troubles is a letter written in May 2002 by an anonymous sadhvi to then prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and the chief justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. In it, she alleged sexual harassment of women inmates of the DSS by its chief. This led to the CBI inquiry being ordered.

Here's what the sadhvi's letter revealed: "One night, at about 10 pm I was called by Guru...


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