CBI files case against Dera chief over forced castration

New Delhi (IANS): The CBI Wednesday registered a case against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in connection with the alleged forced castration of 400 devotees inside his ashram in Sirsa, Haryana.

The agency booked the Dera chief on charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating, voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons and criminal intimidation under the Indian Penal Code, following an order by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

A former Dera follower, Hansraj Chauhan, had filed a petition in the high court in 2012 alleging that he along with around 400 male devotees of the Dera were castrated inside the ashram on the orders of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

Disposing off the petition, the high court had ordered a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the case in December 2014. The court asked the CBI to file the first status report by March 2.

Chauhan had demanded a CBI inquiry and compensation for the castration inside the ashram in 2000.

Seeking a CBI probe, Chauhan claimed before the high court that the castration of Dera followers was done by the chief through doctors employed in his hospital.

Chauhan said in his petition that he along with other devotees were castrated under false claims that they would be able to realise god through the Dera chief after their castration.

Haryana Police handed over the documents related to the incident to the CBI Jan 2.

Haryana Police had also provided documents related to seven other devotees of the Dera chief who also claimed to be castrated.

The Dera has dismissed the castration allegation.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim is also facing trial in connection with cases of murder of a journalist and sexual exploitation of his women disciples.