Chandigarh: Haryana minister Anij Vij on Thursday asked for compensation for Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh followers killed in police action on August 25, when violent protests broke out in Panchkula in response to the self-styled godman’s conviction in a rape case.
Justifying the demand for compensation, Vij, who has been in headlines last year for announcing Rs 50 crore donation from his discretionary fund to the Dera, points to the fact that the government awarded compensation to the victims after last year’s Jat agitation. He argues that so why not for the Dera victims?
The Haryana Police has released a list of as many as 43 wanted individuals, and ten photographs that show protestors damaging vehicles – including media OB vans – and throwing stones. 41 people were killed, and scores more were injured in Haryana.
Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, 50, was sentenced to two decades in prison by a CBI court for raping two women disciples in 2002. He is an inmate in Rohtak’s Sunaria Jail.
Anil Vij is no stranger to controversy. He has said Hindus can’t be terrorists, that Mahatama Gandhi’s image would be removed from currency bills, and that people who can’t live without eating beef shouldn’t visit Haryana.
Earlier, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar declared that government will provide full compensation to those whose properties got damage within a week. And “The amount of compensation will later be recovered from the property of Dera Sacha Sauda,” he added.
Meanwhile, controversial Unnao MP Sakshi Maharaj said that the ‘vulgar acts’ by couples in parks and cars lead to rape. “When these couples ride a motorcycle, they hug each other as if the girl will eat the boy or the boy will eat the girl,” he was quoted as saying by HT.
“Similarly, couples can be seen behaving in a vulgar fashion in cars, parks and other places. Everyone ignores them, but once rape happens, people demand action against the police, so the right thing would be to take action and put such couples behind bars”, Sakshi Maharaj added.
Last month, the BJP lawmaker had defended Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh after his conviction and said, “One person has complained of rape against Ram Rahim. Crores others believe he is God. Who do you think is right?” Sakshi Maharaj said, alleging a “conspiracy to defame not only Ram Rahim and other saints, but also Indian culture.”