It has been one year since Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh of Dera Sacha Sauda in Sirsa Haryana has been convicted on 25 August last year. Though his Rs 2,100-crore empire tattered, it has still been floating with donations from the followers, though IT department and ED are keeping a close watch on the activities of Dera.
Though he has been jailed for 20 years for raping his two women followers, Gurmeet may not be personally taking care of his empire of Rs 2,100-crore business but his followers still believe him innocent and regard him as their Godfather. This proves the fact that on his 51st birthday around 40,000 followers that assembled in Sirsa.
Every year politicians cutting across party lines used to kneel before Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. Thousands of people hailing from not only Haryana but also from neighboring Rajasthan, Delhi and UP used to thronged his Dera Sacha Sauda in Sirsa before he was convicted of rape and sentenced to 20-years imprisonment on 25 August 2018. He used to seat on an ornate, elevated podium to bless followers during the mass congregation.
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But the aftermath of the Panchkula and Sirsa violence that left 36 dead Dear factories were sealed and accounts were frozen on the order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Dera’s core committee members- chairperson Vipassana Insan and senior vice-chairman Dr. PR Nain — are in hiding.
The Dera chief used to run his business empire with an elan that comprised a 20-odd manufacturing units, a mall, a film production company, a cinema hall, retail shops, a top-end hotel, and his consumer goods and fashion garments under the brand of MSG.
His multispecialty hospital with skin bank, chemist shops and blood bank, is now being run under the supervision of the Civil Surgeon Sirsa. There are eight educational institutes that Dera used to run but Sirsa DC now monitors the accounts of these educational institutions so that its employees get salaries in time.
One of the Dera followers said that they depend on donations from followers both in cash and kind and this is because they are still surviving. In fact, his teachings were so caustic that it completely brainwashed his followers and they have not lost their loyalty keeping his empire of 800-acre sect going.