When self-styled Godman Gurmeet Ram Raheem Singh was convicted for rape by a special CBI court in Panchkula, Haryana, it provoked an extreme reaction from his supporters.
Soon after the verdict, the streets of Panchkula were turned into a virtual war-zone with the followers vandalising public property which included setting a petrol pump ablaze, vandalising vehicles with sticks and stones, beating up journalists and even vandalising a 5 star hotel. The violence soon spread to other parts of the country with 2 railway stations being partially burnt down in Punjab.
The possibly dangerous nature of the supporters too was witnessed when weapons cache were recovered from the Dera headquarters in Sirsa. This excluded the recovery of 4 rifles including an AK 47, which was made during the aftermath of Ram Rahim’s verdict wherein he was sentenced to 20 years in jail.
Now the supporters of Ram Raheem are in the news once again, but this time its as a result of them creating a drama.
According to reports, in order to divert attention from the charges against Ram Rahim, the supporters are now threatening mass conversions to Islam.
This ‘threat’ of mass conversion was reportedly made via a video circulating on social media, which was anchored by the spokesperson of Dera named Sandeep Mishra. Here Mishra is reportedly seen in conversation with a Dera follower whose face is hidden. In the video Mishra also claimed that they were in touch with AIMIM President Asaduddin Owaisi, Shahi Imam Syed Ahmad Bukhari of Delhi’s Jama Masjid, possibly in order to ”facilitate” their conversion.
The reason incidentally given by them for wanting to convert was that, Gurmeet Ram Rahim was jailed because he was a Hindu and that Hindu organisations are an easy target. They didn’t stop at that and claimed that converting to Islam would be beneficial to them as nobody touches Muslims even when they throw stones.
As per the report, Gurmeet Ram Rahim himself is the main brain behind the whole controversy as he is an expert in playing the Religion card. The report even quoted former Dera followers who claimed that Gurmeet Ram Rahim knows how to misuse and exploit religion, when things are not going right for him. According to them, he also used to give his Hindu followers Muslim names, so that he could also boast about having a Muslim following.
The report also levelled a serious allegation by claiming that Gurmeet Ram Rahim is directing such exercises from within the jail, which might be facilitated by his “well-wishers” in the administration.
This allegation has been denied by Dr KP Singh, the DGP Prisons, Haryana who has claimed that Gurmeet Ram Rahim is not able to speak to anyone in the Dera.