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In Ram Rahim’s hometown, angry followers dump his photos in the gutter

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JAIPUR, Sept 01 : Devendra Rathore, the chief sanitation inspector of Rajasthan’s Sriganganagar, was in for a shock when he went to inspect a few choked drains of the city earlier this week.

He was startled to find that the drains were clogged not by dried leaves or solid waste, but by hundreds of photos of self-proclaimed godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, now in jail after being convicted of twin rapes.

“The drains near Meera Chowk and Sukhadia Circle were choked by the photos which restricted the water flow. There were more than hundred photos along with posters of the godman which appears to have been thrown away by his devotees,” Rathore told HT.

Sriganganagar district is the birthplace of Singh, the Dera Sacha Sauda head found guilty of raping two of his disciples 15 years ago. Singh was born in the Gurusar Mundia village of the district.

A substantial section of the district’s population worshipped the Dera Sacha Sauda chief earlier, but seems to have grown disillusioned with him following his rape conviction.

 “We discovered more such photos in other areas of the city and they had to be fished out of the drains in order to start the water supply. Later, we dumped them at the garbage depot,” said Rathore.

He added that the choked drain had blocked the water flow in a large area.

Singh’s conviction on August 25 triggered large scale violence across Punjab and Haryana and resulted in the death of 38 people. Sriganganagar too saw mild violence and the police enforced section 144 to keep things under control.

Protestors in the district had torched a government vehicle and damaged other buildings before being arrested by the police.

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