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17 Jul 2019, Edition - 1464, Wednesday

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Coimbatore

Rape convict Ram Rahim and his controversial visits to Kerala

PB Jayasankar

Kochi: The rape convict Gurmeet Ram Raheem Singh who has almost four States in arson, had also created controversies during his visit to Kerala a few years back.

His visit to Thiruvananthapuram to witness national games during 2015 had sparked controversy as he had violated all security norms forcing Kerala to lodge a complaint with the Union Home Ministry.

The Haryana police, having been in-charge of security, ignored Kerala police directives. Kerala police was not allowed to come anywhere near Gurmeet who was under Z category security. Annoyed over the incident, Kerala Home Ministry collected expenses incurred by the State government for providing him security.

The Kerala police also reported suspicion over his frequent visits to Waynad, Kumarakam, Munnar and Wagamon.

Ram Rahim however defended this by stating that he was obsessed with the natural beauty of the State and wanted to invest in agriculture and spirituality.

He said he had farms in the US and Canada.

His visit to Munnar in 2010 had created chaos. One of the vehicles of his convoy hit a resort worker Rashid breaking his right leg near Pothamedu in Munnar.

The vehicle which sped away without stopping, was apprehended by the people after a hot chase. His associates had to take Rashid for treatment to Kochi.

In another incident, his convoy hit a poor person Shashidharan running a petty shop at Kattapana. Again the vehicle got away without taking the injured to hospital.

Immediately people blocked the Kattapana-Munnar road demanding action by police. The convoy was intercepted at Vandanmedu and complaint registered against the driver. However he reportedly did not bear the expenses of hos treatment. Shashidharan had to sell his shop to foot his medical expenses.

Gurmeet’s visit to Kochi during that period had brought the already busy city to a standstill inviting criticism from the media.

His three bullet proof Merc and hundreds of security personnel used during his shopping exercise at MG Road and Oberon mall had also created traffic disruption.

The security cover included those providing Z plus category security and cops from Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan . Besides these there were fire engines and medical emergency vehicles.

People of Kozhikode faced same issue in 2012 when he came to spend some time in hill station Waynad. Traffic on the busy Ram Mohan road and Mavoor road remained suspended for long hours. He said he was visiting the State due to the compulsion of his mother, wife and children.

From there he went straight to Kumarakom in Kottayam. Fascinated by the area, he spent some days there undergoing ayurveda treatment.

He visited another hill station Wagamon in 2014 during which he addressed a meditation camp when he expressed concern over increased alcoholics in the State. He said out of his five crore followers, 90 per cent had come out of alcohol addiction.

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