Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s supporters went on a rampage in parts of Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh underscoring the failure of the state government machinery and the influence godmen have on the minds of the people.
The violence followed a conviction in a rape case dating back to 2002.
While the dance of mayhem was on, a particular photograph showing the Dera chief sitting in the helicopter used to fly him away from the court to the prison went viral.
— Shiv Aroor (@ShivAroor) August 26, 2017
The woman sitting opposite Ram Rahim is Honeypreet Insan, his adopted daughter, and, according to some, could be the next head of the organization.
She was with her father in the CBI court when the verdict was announced and is known to be very influential in the organization.
If she appears as a familiar face it is because she acted in some of the movies starring her father.
Honeypreet commands a massive fan following on social media because of her fame as a director of and actor in some of the movies starring Ram Rahim.
She has approximately 500,000 likes on her Facebook page and over 1 million followers on Twitter.
According to DNA, Honeypreet Insan’s real name is Priyanka Taneja. The report says that she hails from Fatehpur near Hisar.
In 1999, she was married to another Dera follower named Vishwas Gupta. But following troubles arising due to a demand for dowry from in-laws, Ram Rahim adopted her as his daughter in 2009.
Some reports claim that she is in her 30s. The Quint report specifies that she is 35 years old.
So will she be the next to head the Dera? That’s very difficult to answer. A report by Quint also hints at another successor – Guru Brahmachari Vipassana.
Vipassana is also 35 and she is the current chairperson of the Dera. She graduated from the Shah Satnam Ji Girls College operated by the DSS.
She was also the one to issue a condemnation on behalf of the Dera for the violence that happened after Ram Rahim’s conviction.
— vipassana (@VipassanaInsan) August 26, 2017
The Dera chief has his own biological children, rules of the organization bar family members from succeeding a chief.
The Dera Sacha Sauda was founded in 1948 by Mastana Balochistani, an ascetic from in Pakistan’s Balochistan region. He was succeeded by Shah Satnam Singh in 1960. Ram Rahim Singh succeeded Satnam Singh in 1990.