Guru Ram Rahim is a 51-year self-styled holy man who had built up a vast following in North india. He was earlier arrested for raping two of his disciples and the court after a lengthy trial had sentenced him to 20 years rigorous imprisonment. At that time violent protests had broken out all over the Indian state of Haryana when the magistrate awarded the sentence. The police were caught unprepared, and there was a wanton loss of property, and many were killed. This time the police had made adequate security arrangements and nothing untoward happened.

The Indian Express has reported that the Dera Chief and three of his accomplices have been awarded life imprisonment.

Special court sentences

The special court in Panchkula held Ram Rahim guilty of the murder of Ram Chander Chhatrapati who in an article had exposed the sexual abuse going on in the ashram of the guru. This had infuriated the guru who had ordered his killing. The court awarded life in prison to Ram Rahim and three of his accomplices Kuldip Singh, Nirmal Singh, and Krishen Lall. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 (£545) to each of the accused. The Guru who is lodged in Sirsa Jail appeared before the court by a video conferencing. The punishment has come after 17 years, but the truth is that Indian courts like in the case of Sajjan Kumar who was convicted after 35 years take time but dispense justice.

Life in prison

The judge also in his order awarded that the earlier sentence of 20 years prison and the present life imprisonment will run consecutively and not concurrently. This effectively means that Ram Rahim will spend his entire natural life in prison. Ram Rahim is one of the holy God-men who has been sentenced to various terms of imprisonment for seducing and raping his women disciples.

Many like Bapu AsaRam had a penchant for younger girls. AsaRam is serving life in prison in Ahmedabad jail. Another Baba is jailed for 25 years for raping a woman on the pretext of curing her.

Ram Rahim for years had painted himself as a pious spiritual leader. In reality, he was addicted to having relations with younger girl disciples.

This facade of piousness was exposed by journalist Prajapati, and an infuriated Baba had asked that he be silenced. The journalist was shot outside his house by the aides of the Baba in 2002.

The son of Chhatrapati took over his father's mantle and waged a relentless campaign to expose the Baba. In a statement, he has said: "My father sacrificed his life for truth, and I could not let his sacrifice go waste." NDTV has reported that this verdict is a triumph of truth.

Baba in jail

The Baba is now in jail, and millions of his followers are bewildered. The fact is the poor Indian masses are a gullible lot who have an inherent belief that a godman will show the path to salvation. This blind belief is exploited by men like Ram Rahim who live an opulent life with whiskey and women. Many of the women who sleep with such godmen see nothing wrong with it as their faith in the baba transcends all reason. Ram Rahim will now have many years to contemplate what went wrong for him.