Faith shaken but many still revere ‘pita ji’
It was a second major jolt to Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh who was already serving 20 years’ rigorous imprisonment in a rape case, yet Nirmal Singh ‘Insaan’ of Budhalda said that Dera followers were sentimentally attached with ‘Guru ji’ (Ram Rahim Singh), asserting that he had full faith in him. “He is an innocent person but got a victim of politics. The number of Guru ji’s followers was rapidly going northward, which put the politicians in stress as they were finding the number holding a great strength to alter any political calculations. And finally, they all gagged up to target our beloved Guru ji,” said Nirmal Singh, who belongs to a family of staunch followers of Gurmeet Ram Rahim for past one decade. Shocked to hear the life sentence in a murder case, Jagroop Singh of Bhikhi said: “I am on this earth just because of ‘Guru ji’ and the judiciary has now declared him a murderer, which I can never accept.
He is a savior to thousands of people like me. He pulled me out of the clutches of drugs. I will never see him as a culprit of any crime.” It is not about Nirmal and Jagroop, there are many like them whose faith is still unshaken. Unwilling to accept the court verdict, they rather claim that the witnesses were put under pressure and evidence was twisted just to ensure that ‘Pita ji’ (Gurmeet Ram Rahim) and his followers get weaken. “But it will not happen,” they added. A 70-year-old Bishan Kaur of Salabatpura in Bathinda district, where the sect’s state headquarters is located, said that her faith was shaken but she was still not willing to speak anything against Gurmeet Ram Rahim. “The recent developments have hurt me a lot. I am facing social stigma also as people have started chiding ‘premis’ (dera followers) as children of rapist and murderer, but following the teaching of our ‘Guru ji’, I have decided to seal my mouth and bear the burden rather than joining the chorus of anti-dera people,” she poured her heart out.
Dera remains closed for devotees
14 companies, including 2 women battalions, still keeping an eye on the scenario
Nearly 1,500 cops and jawans deployed to deal with any kind of nuisance in the city
Followers keep away from Ludhiana Dera
AMARPREET SINGH MAKKAR
A day after the Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim was awarded life imprisonment in the murder case of journalist Ram Chander Chhatarpati, the followers have maintained distance from the Dera at Gahaur village, near Mullanpur, in Ludhiana district. On the day of pronouncement of punishment, the Dera Sacha Sauda Ludhiana branch wears a deserted look. Not even a single follower has visited the Dera. However, the police were deployed as a preventative measure. A sweeper-cum-caretaker of the Dera, who refused to reveal his identity, said that earlier “naam charcha” was held in the Dera every month but after Guruji (Gurmeet Ram Rahim) was put behind the bars, his followers have started maintaining distance from him. The caretaker said that around five persons use to stay in the Dera permanently, but now they have not come here again. He added that the followers have to face embarrassment in the public and also they fear any police action for implicating them in cases of violence. Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Vidya Sagar said the force was deployed at the Dera as a preventative measure only. Mehar Singh, a Dera follower, said that they used to visit the Dera to get blessings from their Guru but now Gurmeet Ram Rahim is in jail and they have stopped visiting the Dera. He said that they can’t comment on the conviction of Guruji and can’t decide whether Guruji was right or wrong. Another follower Kaka Singh said that they still have faith in the Guru but are not visiting the Dera or commenting anything in public due to any possible embarrassment.
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