A CBI officer and President's Medal honoree who headed the rape probe against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was pressurised by politicians and senior officials to drop the case in its early stage, an Outlook report stated.
Mulinja Narayanan was posted as deputy inspector of police (special crimes) in Delhi when the rape case was handed over to CBI in September 2002.
"The case was registered on December 12, 2002 and suddenly I found a senior CBI official entering my room and directing me that the case needs to be closed and no action should be taken," the retired officer told PTI.
This "unsolicited" advice had prompted Narayanan to probe all aspects of the case, Outlook stated.
"Later, as the investigations carried on, many powerful politicians and business persons walked into the CBI headquarters and put lot of pressure to close the case. But thanks to the judiciary, we could manage to complete our investigation," he said.
The former joint director recalled to Outlook the struggle of the CBI team in convincing the family of rape survivor to continue the investigation against the self-styled godman.
"The girl, who had been sexually abused in 1999, had since left Dera and got married. It was a daunting task to convince her as well as her family members. Thankfully, I played the role of a father for her and ensured that she not only gives her statement but also testifies before a magistrate.
I wanted to ensure that no one plays dirty and weakens the case later. Therefore, I got the statement of the girl recorded before a magistrate so that retracting it becomes nearly impossible," Outlook quotes him as saying.
The 67-year-old officer who retired in 2009 also remembered Gurmeet Singh's response during the interrogation.
"... He did not give any direct reply. He pretended to be a baba but my instincts told me that he was a scared person during the questioning."
The meritorious officer who received President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service in 1999, even suffered pressure from his subordinates.
"My seniors knew my professionalism. I do not succumb to pressures but what surprised me was that some of my subordinate staff came and made vehement requests that I should stop the probe against Gurmeet Singh."
A special CBI court in Panchkula has convicted Gurmeet Singh yesterday based on a case registered in 2002 on allegations of sexual exploitation of two 'sadhvis' by the godman. The Punjab and Haryana High Court ordered a CBI probe 15 years ago taking account of the anonymous letters written by the survivors, reports Outlook.
"It was a game of wits. Sometimes we won and sometimes we lost but, at the end, today's verdict showed that no one can escape the law of the land," Narayanan said.
The court will pronounce the sentence on August 28.