‘Guru in bling’ gets life in prison for death of journalist

A judge in India sentenced a guru — already serving prison time for raping two followers — to life in prison Thursday for killing a journalist who exposed the abuse.

An Indian judge handed down the life in prison sentence to guru Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and three accomplices.
An Indian judge handed down the life in prison sentence to guru Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and three accomplices.

Panchkula Judge Jagdeep Singh handed down the sentence to guru Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and three accomplices — Kuldeep Singh, Nirmal Singh and Krishan Lal — for the 2002 slaying.
Prosecutors said the men were responsible for killing editor Ram Chander Chhatrapati five days after he published a letter in the newspaper Poora Sach, which means “The Complete Truth” in Hindi. The letter, written by an anonymous follower of the guru, accused his Dera Sacha Sauda sect of sexual abuse.

Lal gave two guns to Kuldeep Singh and Nirmal Singh, in the presence of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, to carry out the shooting. Chhatrapati died three weeks later.

The four men were convicted in connection with Chhatrapati’s death last week.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, nicknamed the “guru in bling,” was convicted of rape and criminal intimidation of two female followers in 2017, and sentenced to a combined 20 years in prison.

India has many gurus who say they have mystical powers, but Singh has been linked to controversy. In 2015 he allegedly advocated that 400 of his followers undergo castration to get closer to God.

ByDanielle Haynes