The ordeal that the two rape victims endured at Ram Rahim’s dera as evidenced by court records
Chitleen K Sethi
The two rape victims in the case in which Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was convicted remained undaunted in the face of all odds. They stood their ground despite gruelling cross-examination sessions, pressure from their own family and fear of the ‘godman’ and his army of supporters.
Court records accessed by ThePrint show how the two women were subjected to humiliating questions during their cross-examination as prosecution witnesses. Sample these:
- Can you tell us the meaning of rape in Hindi
- Can you tell us the meaning of ‘balatkar’ in English?
- Can you us tell the English translation of the word, ‘galat kaam’?
It took the two women 15 long years to get justice. And it was their sheer determination and gritty persistence that led to it.
It has not been an easy battle for them. In her statement to the court, one of the victims (prosecutrix witness 10) — who used to be a sadhvi and worked in the dera’s school — spoke of how her in-laws, who were staunch followers of Ram Rahim, pressured her to resile. Her husband stood by her and shifted out of his house. The couple then stayed with her parents so that they could pursue the case independently.
In fact, her husband proved to be her biggest support in following the case to its logical end. In his statement before the court, the woman’s husband said that after they were married his wife told him that she had been raped by Ram Rahim in the dera. He then informed his parents and decided to fight it out.
This young woman and her parents had suffered in silence after she was allegedly raped by the baba in 1999. She told the court that every night sadhvis were put on sentry duty outside the girls’ hostel, near the “gufa” (a set of rooms where Ram Rahim lived whenever he was in the dera). Once on duty at the hostel gate, she was allegedly called by the ‘baba’ into his gufa and raped. The godman then warned her against disclosing the incident to anyone, she told the court.
However, she said she confided in her parents the next day and left the dera after the incident. Everyone had decided to keep mum because of the godman’s threat. The victim’s marriage was later solemnised in the presence of Ram Rahim as part of a mass marriage ceremony inside the dera.
Facing the baba’s defence in court was tough, which sought to know every possible detail of the two victims’ lives. In the case of this victim, the defence wanted to know why she continued to be on good terms with the dera and the baba after the incident. They asked her husband if his relationship with his brother was cordial.
With the other victim in the case (prosecutrix witness 5), who was allegedly raped twice by Ram Rahim, the defence tried to prove that she had left the dera not because she was raped. The defence claimed she had done so because of an alleged relationship with a boy during her college days, which had apparently become public in the dera. She was grilled multiple times over this allegation. She told the court that though there was a boy who used to pester her while she was in college, she had nothing to do with him.
Before the rape incident, Ram Rahim had apparently showed her some letters, purportedly written by this boy, when she was working at the dera.
“Gurmeet Singh asked me to narrate if I had committed any mistake in my past life. Then I told him that during my college days I knew one boy and that the boy must be trying to defame me. Thereafter, he told me, ‘You have become a sadhvi and now I have control over your body and mind’.
He further told me, ‘You have become ‘apavitar’ (impure) and by this act, I will purify you’.”
She also told the court that this form of pardon (maafi) was known to the other sadhvis as well.
“The other saadhvis used to ask me as to whether the ‘pitaji’ (baba) has granted me pardon (maafi) or not… When I asked them as to what was the meaning of ‘maafi’, they used to laugh at me.”
She added that she had seen sadhvis going inside the gufa many times.
The victims suggested that while some sadhvis were working in collusion with the godman, others who found it unbearable had left the dera.
Million salute to judge, these brave girls and whoever supported them for righteousness. These politician also should be hanged who tried to help this guilty man for years.
salute to these brave women,their husband,CBI investigating officers,honble Judge of CBI court for there exceptional courage. They ar real heroes and patriotic people. Jai Hind
What is the proof that these are the set documents pertaining to this case, especially cross examination aspect. Hard to beilve such stupid Q are asked and no DNA was done and it’s just a point that happened in 1999 and 2002 which took so long for justice? Sad status of judiciary?
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