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‘Pitaji’s maafi’: Code word used to describe rape inside Dera chief’s ‘gufa’

‘Pitaji’s maafi’: Code word used to describe rape inside Dera chief’s ‘gufa’
Photo: PTI

NEW DELHI: Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Singh would regularly rape female disciples, who referred to it as “pitaji’s maafi”, according to a report in The Times of India.

The TOI report quoted the statements given by the two sadhvis who complained against Singh for raping them. Singh was convicted in the 15-year-old rape case on Friday by a special CBI court.

According to the complainants, Singh would regularly rape female disciples inside his “gufa” (cave) and other women followers would be reportedly asked to stand guard. One of the complainants in the case told the court that she had been asked by other disciples if she had been “granted maafi by pitaji” but at the time she didn’t realise that they were referring to rape.

“Only female disciples were deployed to guard Ram Rahim‘s underground living quarters. ‘Maafi’ (Pardon) was the code word used among disciples to describe rapes,” claimed  TOI, which has copies of victims’ statements.

Both the complainants told the court that they were raped in August and September 1999. The brother of one of the survivors was later reportedly murdered for trying to get justice for his sister.

Shortly after Singh, 50, was convicted of rape and criminal intimidation on Friday, he was taken to a make-shift jail at a police training centre in Rohtak.

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“Gurmeet Ram Rahim has been put in (special jail at) PTC Sunaria,” Rohtak Deputy Commissioner Atul Kumar told PTI, adding, tight security arrangements have been made.

Judge Jagdeep Singh of CBI special court at Panchkula convicted the self-styled godman and said the quantum of sentence will be pronounced on August 28, CBI counsel H P S Verma said.

Immediately after his conviction, followers of the Sirsa based Dera went on rampage and clashed with security personnel leaving many dead and injured.

“Tight security arrangements have been put in place in Rohtak,” the DC said.

At the time of court pronouncing him guilty in the 2002 case, the sect chief appeared “calm and composed”, the CBI counsel said.

(With PTI inputs)