4200 people recommended rape convict Ram Rahim Padma award.
The government received more than 4200 people recommendations for a 2017 Padma award to Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, five of them from the spiritual leader himself.The Union home ministry was flooded with applications nominating the 50-year-old burly, bearded “godman” who has scripted and starred in own films and commands a near-devotional following that runs into millions.
According to the list of recommendations or nominations for Padma Awards 2017, the Union home ministry received 18,768 applications.
The highest 4,208 recommendations, including two from ‘Saintgorge William Sonet’ and ‘India Saintgorge’, both from Hissar in Haryana, were received for conferring any one of the three Padma awards on the controversial Dera Sacha Sauda chief.This happened before he was sentenced early this week to 20 years in jail for raping two sadhvis, or woman devotees, in cases that date back to 2002.
The overwhelming number of applications appears to be an orchestrated effort to recommend his name for the 2017 Padma awards. There was not a single recommendation for him for the awards given in 2015 and 2016.The nominations are open as anyone can propose a name for the national civilian awards given by the government — Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.
All recommendations were marked in the name of ‘Saint Dr Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan’, also known as ‘rockstar baba’ and ‘guru of bling’, and almost all had come from Sirsa in Haryana, the headquarters of the Dera Sacha Sauda.
Gurmeet, who was sentenced to 20 years in jail for raping two followers this week, recommended himself five times. While his address was given as Sirsa three times, on the other two applications he gave Hissar in Haryana and Ganganagar in Rajasthan, where he was born.According to the documents, of the five recommendations, one was for ‘Saint Dr Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan’ by ‘Saint Dr Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji InsanSaintgorge’.
The overwhelming majority of those who recommended the Dera chief’s name for the highest civilian honour in the country used single names like Abha, Aditya, Akbar, Alfez, Baljinder, Milky, Gajal, Komal, Jony, Jesse and Ishwar.
An Amit, based in Sirsa, recommended Gurmeet’s name 31 times, and a Sunil nominated him 27 times.
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