Dera Sacha Sauda Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Rape Case: Timeline of events

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New Delhi : A CBI special court on Friday held the controversial Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh guilty and convicted him on charges of raping and sexually exploiting two female disciples. Trial court judge Jagdeep Singh announced the verdict amid unprecedented security here. The sentence will be pronounced by the court on Monday.

The sect chief was present in the court when the judgment was given in Panchkula town, adjoining Chandigarh. Outside, tens of thousands of his supporters were massed along with thousands of security personnel.

The rape victims, despite threats and pressures all along, stood their ground on rape and sexual harassment allegations during the nearly 15-year hearing of the case in court.

Here is a complete timeline of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Rape Case:

April 2002: Chief justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court recieved an anonymous letter alleging sexual exploitation by Gurmeet Ram Rahim on woman followers at Dera Sacha Sauda in Sirsa.

May 2002: Probe ordered by the High Court against the allegations.

September 2002: CBI takes charge of the case as district court indicates possibility of sexual exploitation.

December 2002: CBI registers case of rape and criminal intimidation against Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

July 2007: CBI files chargesheet mentioning about sexual harassment with two sadhvis (female followers) between 1999 to 2001.

September 2008: The special CBI court frames charges against Gurmeet under sections 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC.

In 2009-2010: Complainants record their statement before the court.

April 2011: The case gets transferred to Panchkula CBI Court.

July 2017: Special CBI court orders daily hearing in the matter.

August 17, 2017: Arguments of prosecution and defence concludes. Special CBI Judge Jagdeep Singh fixes August 25 as date for pronouncement of the verdict. Gurmeet asked to appear in person before the court the same day.

August 25, 2017: The CBI court finds Gurmeet Ram Rahim guilty and says punishment will be awarded on August 28, 2017.