Chandigarh: After being jailed for 20 years in two rape cases, Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s son Jasmeet Insan has been nominated as the next chief of the Sirsa-based sect Dera Sacha Sauda.
In 2007, after being charged with rape and sexual exploitation of two sadhvis, Ram Rahim had anointed his son Jasmeet to be his successor.
With this development, Jasmeet became the first anointed successor in a bloodline at the Dera Sacha Sauda.
The Dera was founded by Shah Mastana Balochistani in 1948 as social welfare and spiritual organization.
In 1960, Shah Mastana named Shah Satnam Singh as his successor who later took over the reins of the Dera Sacha Sauda. 30 years later, in 1990, Ram Rahim was named the successor of Satnam Singh. After taking over as the chief of Dera, Gurmeet treated it as his family property and subsequently, named his son Jasmeet as the successor.
However, a lot changed since 2007 and at the present scenario, several names have emerged as top contenders for the post of Dera chief.
Ram Rahim’s third daughter Honeypreet Insan appears to be one of the powerful contenders to hold the position. Honeypreet, however, is not the biological child of Ram Rahim and was adopted was him in 2009.
Her original name was Priyanka Taneja and she belonged to Fatehabad district of Haryana.
She was married to Vishvas Gupta in 1991 in the presence of Ram Rahim. Vishvas Gupta is the grandson of two-time Gharaunda MLA Rulia Ram Gupta and was employed as an engineer with Haryana government earlier. However, the duo separated in 2011.
Honeypreet appears to be the closest confidante of Ram Rahim and is already handling Dera affairs which put her in the lead to be the next chief after Ram Rahim.
According to a report, Honeypreet has described herself as the successor of Gurmeet Ram Rahim on one of her social media pages. Her proximity with Gurmeet was seen recently when she accompanied him inside an Army while he was being taken to the jail after held convicted by the court in the rape case.
Another serious challenger for the post of Dera chief is Vipassana Insan, a 35-year-old sadhvi of Dera and the chairperson of the organization.
Vipassana is considered to be the number two in the Dera after Gurmeet Ram Rahim.
She has been authorized by Ram Rahim himself to take all the decision on the behalf of Dera Sacha Sauda, which she is heading for the past seven years.
For many in the Dera, Vipassana is the natural successor of Ram Rahim.
Vipassana was the one to appeal for peace from the Dera supporters after a massive violence broke out in Haryana and adjoining states following the conviction of Ram Rahim in the rape and sexual exploitation case of two sadhvis.