Tuesday, 29 August 2017

India rapist guru: Judge calls Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh ‘wild beast’

A judge who sentenced a controversial Indian guru convicted of rape to 20 years in prison called him a “wild beast” who deserved no leniency.

Judge Jagdeep Singh said in his order that Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s assault of his disciples was “custodial rape” and he “deserved maximum punishment”.

The self-styled holy man was found guilty of sexually assaulting two female followers from 1999 to 2002.

Prosecutors had called for a life sentence.

A lawyer for the victims said “40-50 women” had come forward with allegations of rape and they would be seeking further investigation in the case.

Apart from the rape charges against him, Ram Rahim Singh denies charges of murder in two cases due to be heard next month.

Ram Rahim Singh’s followers turned violent and 38 people were killed after his conviction on Friday. To deliver his judgement on Monday, the judge was flown to the prison where the self-styled holy man was lodged.

In a strongly-worded order, Judge Singh said the convict deserved the “maximum punishment” because he had “projected himself as a Godman and taken undue advantage of his position and authority”, the BBC’s Geeta Pandey reports from Delhi.

“The victims put the convict on the pedestal of ‘god’ and revered him. However, the convict committed breach of the gravest nature by sexually assaulting such gullible and blind followers,” the order read.

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