The upcoming Hindi film “Ajmer 92” has already ignited controversy for its portrayal of the renowned Ajmer Sharif Dargah in Rajasthan. The movie is based on a true and shocking incident that occurred in 1992. This scandal rocked the city of Ajmer, where a powerful family associated with the Ajmer Dargah was involved in a series of heinous gang rapes and blackmail, victimizing numerous young girls, including minors.
Ajmer 1992 Scandal Story
In 1992, a local newspaper called ‘Dainik Navjyoti‘ first reported the scandal of Ajmer 92, exposing a network of gang rapes and blackmail. The investigative report brought attention to the influential Khadim family, entrusted with the responsibility of overseeing the Ajmer Sharif Dargah. Shockingly, it was revealed that Farooq and Nafis Chishty, members of the Khadim family, led a group of young men who systematically lured, gang raped, and blackmailed young women at a private farmhouse.
Investigations into the Ajmer 92 scandal uncovered a disturbing modus operandi employed by the Chishtys and their cohorts. Farooq Chishty targeted a young girl from Sophia Senior Secondary School in Ajmer, manipulating her into introducing him to her school friends.
Once acquainted, these girls were enticed to a secluded farmhouse one by one, where they fell victim to brutal gang rapes orchestrated by the Chishtys and their accomplices. Shockingly, the perpetrators also captured compromising photographs of the victims to ensure their silence and discourage them from reporting the crimes.
Dainik Navjyoti’s report
Dainik Navjyoti’s report claimed that there were over 250 victims, aged between 11 and 20, who suffered at the hands of the Chishtys and their gang. The revelations sent shockwaves through the community, as it became apparent that a privileged and influential family had been perpetrating such heinous acts. Disturbingly, it was also alleged that the Ajmer police were aware of the scandal but chose to turn a blind eye, succumbing to the influence and power of the Khadim family.
According to retired Rajasthan D.G.P. Omendra Bhardwaj, who served as the Deputy Inspector General of Police in Ajmer at the time, the accused held positions of social and financial influence, which made it exceedingly difficult to persuade the girls to come forward and testify.
The Supreme Court, in reference to this case, acknowledged that many of the victims who appeared as witnesses turned against their own testimonies. It was understandable why they hesitated to testify against the defendants, as doing so would have exposed their own involvement and negatively impacted their future lives.
Furthermore, some individuals also drew connections to other cases, such as Dr Mohammed Khalil Chisty, who was known as an ISI member and was imprisoned for a murder case in Ajmer in 1992.
The Ajmer 92 scandal reached its breaking point when the explicit photographs leaked, forcing the police to take action against the perpetrators. A journalist from Dainik Navjyoti filed FIRs against the accused and provided the police with substantial evidence, including photographic proof. Finally, the victims’ voices were heard, and the veil of protection surrounding the Khadim family was lifted.
In September 1992, a trial commenced against 18 individuals who were charged with abduction. Out of the 18 accused, only 10 received life imprisonment as their sentence. However, in 2014, the Rajasthan High Court acquitted four of those 10 convicts in Ajmer 92 scandal. Farooq Chishti, who was found guilty of his crimes in 2007, was released by the Rajasthan High Court in 2013 after serving his time.
The Ajmer 92 scandal stands as a haunting reminder of the dark side of power and privilege. The exploitation and victimization of young girls shocked the community and exposed the corruption that had allowed the crimes to persist for so long.