THE special CBI court in Panchkula, Haryana, has convicted the Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in the charge of rape of two sadhvis, in a case that was registered in 2002. This verdict has sparked off widespread violence and rioting in Haryana, Punjab, Delhi and parts of Uttar Pradesh, leading to the unfortunate death of over 30 people and injuries to hundreds. Both the centre and the Haryana government have failed miserably in anticipating the violence and in maintaining law and order.

In a statement issued on August 26, the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) has congratulated the two women who have bravely withstood all pressures, threats and intimidation to dissuade them from continuing with their struggle for justice in their charge of rape against the Dera Sacha Sauda chief. AIDWA has been consistently supporting the victims in their 15-year long harrowing ordeal. AIDWA demands that the government must give full protection to the victims.

It is condemnable that various political parties for electoral gains have protected the Dera chief and have deliberately delayed the women's quest for justice. It is a matter of record that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself had showered praise on the Dera chief to get the votes of his supporters.  It is precisely this type of political patronage that has encouraged various so-called godmen to brazenly violate the law of the land with impunity, said the statement.

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