Panchkula, January 11: The Special CBI Court in Panchkula on Friday convicted Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in Journalist Ram Chander Chhatarpati murder case. However, the court said that it would pronounce the sentence on January 17.
The court judgment is believed to be crucial as the Dera Sacha Sauda chief is already serving a 20-year prison sentence for the rape of two female disciples and is lodged at the Sunaria jail in Haryana. In the latest case, he is the prime accused in the case which relates with the murder trial of journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati – killed on October 24, 2002, allegedly by patrons of Dera Sacha Sauda. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, Qaidi No. 8647, Grows Vegetables in Rohtak's Sunaria Jail: Here's How Much He Earns.
Gurmeet Ram Rahim attended the Court hearing via teleconferencing from Sunaria jail in Haryana, after Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar-led government approved the same in light of security concerns. In 2017 too, the state government had made similar arrangements, citing law and order issues.
According to the case, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh allegedly ordered the murder of Chhatrapati after the latter published an anonymous letter in his evening daily 'Poora Sach'. In the letter, the scribe had highlighted the plight of a female disciple – allegedly sexually assaulted and harassed by the sect chief.
Taking the letter – published in Poora Sach – into cognisance, the Haryana and Punjab government ordered an inquiry into the case on September 22, 2002. Soon after it, Chhatrapati was murdered by two people – Dera followers Nirmal Singh, and Kuldeep Singh. Police probe had found that the weapon used in the murder belonged to one Krishan Lal.
The matter came to light after a letter from a ‘sadhvi’ was published in Poora Sach, and the Punjab and Haryana government ordered an inquiry into the case on September 22, 2002. A few days later, Chhatrapati was murdered by two people – Dera followers Nirmal Singh, and Kuldeep Singh. Police probe had found that the weapon used in the murder belonged to one Krishan Lal.