Indian ‘Rock Star Guru’ Jailed 20 Years for Raping !

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They have been accused of murder, rape and running illicit alcohol and prostitution rackets.
Now the body that oversees Indian saints has blacklisted more than a dozen fake “godmen”
After the recent rape conviction of a prominent Guru that provoked deadly riots in several states.
The Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad, which regulates saints and sadhus, has issued a list of 14 “fake babas”, calling for the public to boycott them and their religious organisations.
Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, 50 known as the “rock star guru” is starting a 20-year jail sentence for raping two of his female disciples.The singer-songwriter, film-maker and cult leader amassed a multimillion-dollar fortune with business interests across India and beyond.
His followers responded to the sentence with a violent rampage that left at least 39people dead. Police searching Singh’s abandoned compound, northwest of Delhi, have unearthed a tunnel between the guru’s personal quarters and the female dormitories. Allegations of widespread sexual abuse have surfaced since the group disbanded.
The scandal has again turned a spotlight on India’s fascination with godmen and the extraordinary influence they wield. Singh had close ties to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but gurus of all stripes have been cultivated by successive governments
for decades.Politicians have long wooed them because they bring massive grassroots support and lend a veneer of spiritual credibility to officials.
In return, however self-appointed religious figures have been allowed to operate outside the law, amassing vast personal fortunes with often-dubious business . Many defend their interests with a ferocity akin to mafia bosses, and abuse of followers is whitespread.
Asaram Bapu, 76, has been in jail since 2013. Three witnesses in the case are reportted to have been murdered. Others on the blacklist are accused of running alcohol and prostitution rings.
Critics have said the list does not go far enough. Other gurus facing horrendous allegations are omitted, and the move does nothing to effect the culture of impunity that surronds India’s godmen.-
THE TIMES.