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The ghost of Ajmer’s serial rape and blackmail scandal reappears, slain journalist’s sons avenge father’s murder after 30 years

Sawai Singh and others were arrested for killing local journalist Madan Singh in 1992. However, a court in 2012 found them not guilty. Madan Singh's two sons, Surya and Dharam, who were 8 and 12 when their father was killed, have stated that they have avenged their father's murder.

On January 7, former councillor Sawai Singh was shot dead at a resort in Pushkar. His death brought back memories of the infamous 1992 Ajmer Serial Rape and Blackmail Scandal. The accused, Surya Partap Singh and Dharam Partap Singh, are the sons of slain journalist Madan Singh, who was assassinated in 1992.

The police recovered a country-made pistol and three bullets from Surya Partap’s possession. Sawai Singh sustained bullet injuries on head and stomach. Surya escaped the scene but was arrested on January 8 by Pushkar police.

Surya Pratap got himself clicked with a wide smile on his face. He told the media he has no remorse for what he did. During interrogation, he admitted to having killed Sawai Singh to take revenge for his father’s murder. As per reports, Sawai Singh was in the Baseli village to distribute cards for his son’s wedding. Surya followed him consistently. Reports suggest that Surya and his brother Dharma Partap Singh followed Sawai Singh for over a week. They also sent their relative Vinay Pratap Singh to do keep an eye on Sawai Singh’s movements.

When Sawai stopped at Yuvraj Fort Resort for tea with his associates, Surya and two others opened fire at him. Sawai Singh’s associate Dinesh Singh also sustained a bullet injury and getting treated at a hospital. Dharam Partap Singh is still at large.

Madan ran a weekly newspaper back in the day and had covered the Ajmer rape and blackmail scandal extensively. As per reports, when the scandal was exposed, it was revealed that a local gang had raped and blackmailed numerous young women in Ajmer. The police allegedly stalled the matter due to the political pressure and involvement of Farooq Chishti, the head of the Ajmer Indian Youth Congress. Chishti belonged to the Khadims of the Ajmer Sharif Dargah.

Madan was threatened repeatedly for writing extensively about the matter. Madan was shot in 1992 on Srinagar Road in Ajmer. However, he managed to flee. He was rushed to the JLN Hospital in Ajmer. Later, while Madan was getting treated for the injuries, 5-6 assailants attacked him in the hospital and killed him.

The police charged now-dead Sawai Singh, former Congress legislator Rajkumar Jaipal, Narendra Singh, and others with murder. However, in 2012, the court found all the accused not guilty. When Madan was killed, his two sons, Surya and Dharma, were only 8 and 12 years old, respectively. After the court found the accused not guilty, Madan’s sons vowed to avenge the murder of their father. In the last decade, they attempted twice to take revenge but failed. However, this time Surya managed to kill Sawai Singh.

The 1992 Ajmer Rape and Blackmail Scandal

In the year 1992, it was revealed that over 250 girls were raped and blackmailed in Ajmer, Rajasthan. It all started with Farooq Chishti grooming a female student of Sophia Senior Secondary School and raping her. He took objectionable photographs of the minor and threatened her to introduce other girls to him. Later, those girls were raped and blackmailed.

Farooq Chishti was the president of the Ajmer Youth Congress while two other accused, Nafis Chishti and Anwar Chishti were the vice-president and joint secretary respectively of the city Congress unit.

Numerous girls were trapped, sexually exploited and blackmailed for years by Farooq Chishti and his gang, including many influential men in the area with political connections. Since the main culprits were associated with the Khadims, the religious caretakers of the Ajmer Dargah, and had power and political links, the matter was suppressed by the police. Reports mention that over the years, many victims had even committed suicide.

The gang and its territory kept growing, adding more pain and suffering. As per reports, all the girls were between the ages of 11 to 20. When the scandal got exposed, the police initially stalled the matter because of political pressure. However, the protests spread rapidly in the region, and eventually, police arrested several accused in the case. After years of investigation, eight of the accused were convicted, including Chishti.

There are speculations that the matter was suppressed to the point that many witnesses and victims turned hostile, and many details got buried. The witnesses and victims were threatened and blackmailed as well to stop them from coming forward. Some of them turned hostile due to social stigma. The case is often compared to the infamous Rotherham Child Sexual Exploitation Scandal.

The social stigma ran to such an extent that for years after the incident was exposed, people looking for prospective brides in the area used to ask, if the girl was one of “those victims”.

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OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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