Mumbai: The actions of the followers of Godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh left the whole country aghast as a gathering turned into a violent mob after their leader was found guilty of rape by a Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court, on Friday.
The mob had assembled in Panchkula despite the fact that Section 144 (unlawful assembly of more than four people in an area) was implemented.
The country watched in horror as various TV channels reported that their OB vans were vandalised by the mob, who also injured some of their personnel. The violence left 31 people dead and 250 others injured.
Interestingly, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh is said to have been closely linked with sports. The Godman claims to have participated in as many as 32 different sports, while taking up coaching roles as well.
One of his most proud moments came, when current Team India captain Virat Kohli, in his younger days, arrived on the Guru’s doorsteps to ask for his blessings. Kohli was accompanied by Indian pace bowler Ashish Nehra as well.
A video of the two has gone viral, showing Kohli, Nehra and a few other people being blessed by the Guru.
Interestingly, Ram Rahim’s sect, also known as Dera Sacha Sauda had also received funds amounting to Rs 50 lakh from Haryana Health and Sports minister Anil Vij, for conducting various sporting events in rural areas.
“Dera Sacha Sauda is already promoting sports for a long time and now BJP government will promote all sports related activities by making 20 Olympic Nurseries,” Vij had said.
“He (Ram Rahim) is encouraging the games. Since the schools are also encouraging games here, I would like to donate Rs 50 lakh from my discretionary fund,” added Vij.
However, all the games played at the Dera are said to have been created by Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh himself, and are not played at a national or international level.