New Delhi, Aug 28 (IANS) Political parties across the spectrum welcomed a court on Monday sentencing Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim to 20 years in jail after convicting him of rape, with the ruling BJP calling the sect chief a “thug”.
Both the Congress and BJP also traded allegations of trying to shield the self-styled godman for the sake of votes. However, after the court convicted the Dera head for rape, both parties welcomed the verdict.
The BJP said the Haryana government did a “commendable job” by producing him before court without any violence.
“They (persons like the Dera chief) should be punished like anything. They are indulging in thuggery and misguiding people by appearing to be a dharmaguru which is the worst,” BJP General Secretary and incharge of Haryana Anil Jain said after the sentencing.
The Manohar Lal Khattar-led BJP government in Haryana drew widespread flak after Dera followers ran riot on Friday after the sect chief’s conviction on Friday and torched hundreds of vehicles.
At least 38 people were killed and hundreds injured in the violence that spread to other neighbouring states.
The Congress on Monday called him a “BJP Baba”.
“With the #RamRahimSentencing, the judiciary has proven that no one is above the Constitution and rule of law. #BJPBabaJailed,” the Congress posted on its official Twitter handle.
Yoga guru Baba Ramdev, too, welcomed Ram Rahim’s conviction and sentencing by the court.
“Dharm ke naam par adharm nahi hona chahiye (There should not be immorality in the name of religion). The conviction came after 15 years of investigation. Justice was delayed but not denied,” Ramdev said.
Yogendra Yadav-led Swaraj India, while welcoming the verdict, also paid tributes to the two victims and the CBI judge for their courage.
“Swaraj India has welcomed this verdict. We salute the courage of the judge of the CBI court…We also salute the two sadhvis who withstood unimaginable intimidation to bring such a powerful rapist to the book,” it said in a statement.
Senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan demanded that the self-styled godman must serve his jail term as an ordinary prisoner and not as a VIP.
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