Sex crimes guru con­victed for mur­der­ing jour­nal­ist

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - News -

An In­dian court on Fri­day con­victed a dis­graced but still pow­er­ful re­li­gious sect leader of mur­der­ing a jour­nal­ist after he ex­posed ram­pant sex­ual abuses by the guru.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who headed the pow­er­ful Dera Sacha Sauda sect with mil­lions of fol­low­ers world­wide, is al­ready serv­ing a 20-year prison sen­tence for rape.

The court on Fri­day found 51-year-old Singh and three of his close aides guilty of killing lo­cal news­pa­per jour­nal­ist Ram Chan­der Ch­ha­tra­p­ati in 2002.

Ch­ha­tra­p­ati was shot out­side his house after his lo­cal news­pa­per pub­lished an anony­mous let­ter de­scrib­ing ram­pant sex­ual abuse by Singh at his sprawl­ing and lux­u­ri­ous sect head­quar­ters.

Sen­tenc­ing is due to be pro­nounced on Thurs­day. The max­i­mum sen­tence is the death penalty.

When Singh was con­victed in 2017 of rap­ing two of his dis­ci­ples, his fol­low­ers went on the ram­page, leav­ing nearly 40 peo­ple dead.

Since 2015, Singh has also been on trial for cas­trat­ing 400 of his fol­low­ers, who al­leged that they had been promised spir­i­tual gains.

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