Married at the age of 17, became a sanyasi at the age of 23… then an anonymous letter sent Ram Rahim to jail

Ananya Shroff
6 Min Read

New Delhi : Dera Sacha Sauda in Haryana needs no introduction. Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim has a long history of controversies. Last month, Gurmeet Ram Rahim was acquitted by the High Court in a 22-year-old murder case. Ram Rahim is lodged in Rohtak's Sunaria jail. The story of the Dera chief, who had assets worth crores from a common man, is completely filmy.

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He became the head of the Dera in 1990

Ram Rahim was born in Ganganagar district of Rajasthan. During an interview, Ram Rahim himself claimed that he was born with the blessings of saints. At the age of 17, his family got him married to Harjeet Kaur. His wife gave birth to 1 son and two daughters. After completing 23 years of age, he took sanyaas on the orders of the Dera. Shah Satnam Singh made Ram Rahim the third head of Dera Sacha Sauda in 1990. This Dera was founded by Shah Mastana in 1948. Ram Rahim's son Jasmeet was married to the daughter of a former MLM of Punjab. His elder daughter is Charanpreet Kaur and younger daughter is Amarpreet Kaur. Apart from this, Ram Rahim has also adopted Honeypreet Kaur.

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Work done in films

Later, the Dera chief also made films. The Dera chief changed his appearance to look like a rock star. He also performed several rockstar concerts. He made the film Messenger of God in 2015. After this, films like 'SAG-2', 'SAG-Online Gurukul', 'SAG-The Warrior Lion Heart', 'Hind Ka Naapak Ko Jawab' were also released. Ram Rahim himself produced these films and also gave script, direction and music.

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Dera has 5 crore followers

Dera Sacha Sauda claims to have 5 crore followers worldwide. There are 25 lakh followers in Haryana alone. Dera has more than 50 ashrams across the country. Dera's headquarter is in Sirsa, Haryana. Dera has assets worth several hundred crores of rupees. Apart from India, Dera has followers in America, Canada, England and Australia too. Dera was also accused of making the sadhus living there impotent. Fatehabad resident Hansraj Chauhan filed a petition in the High Court in July 2012 and accused the Dera Sauda chief of making 400 sadhus impotent. Names of 166 sadhus were also given in it.

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The letter that started the downfall

The Dera first came into controversy in the year 1998. A child died after being crushed by a Dera jeep. This news was published in the local newspaper. After this, the people of the Dera went to the newspaper office and created a ruckus. Later the Dera apologized. In the year 2002, a lost letter started the downfall of the Dera chief. At that time, an alleged Sadhvi wrote a letter to the then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court accusing Gurmeet Ram Rahim of sexual exploitation. In the same year, the Dera chief was also accused of murdering journalist Ramchandra Chhatrapati who wrote news against the Dera. After the letter came to light, Dera manager Ranjit Singh was also murdered in July 2002.

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Violence erupted after dress dispute

After this, in the year 2007, Ram Rahim was seen in the attire of Guru Govind Singh. After this, protests started in Punjab. There was a lot of violence between the protesting Sikhs and the Dera supporters. The effigy of the Dera chief was burnt in Bathinda. There were incidents of clashes between Sikhs and Dera supporters at many places. Due to this, the Dera chief was banned from going to Punjab. A case was also registered against the Dera chief in Punjab. Later the Punjab government withdrew the case.

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When the court sentenced him to life imprisonment

On 25 August 2017, Ram Rahim was sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment in the sexual exploitation case of two sadhvis. After this, on 17 January 2019, he was sentenced to life imprisonment in the journalist Ramchandra Chhatrapati murder case. Ram Rahim was sentenced to life imprisonment in the murder of journalist Chhatrapati and 10 years each in two cases of sexual exploitation. Apart from this, in October 2021, the CBI court sentenced him to life imprisonment in the murder case of Dera manager Ranjit Singh. Three years after the sentence was pronounced, Ram Rahim was acquitted in this case by the High Court.

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