Panchkula, September 16: Security has been tightened in Panchkula ahead of hearing in two separate murder cases against self-styled godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and others. Paramilitary forces and Haryana police have been deployed around the court complex and other areas in Panchkula town to maintain law and order. The two cases include the murder of journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati and former Dera manager Ranjit Singh by some of the sect followers.

“We have made adequate security arrangements ahead of the hearing in the cases. The hearing in the cases against Ram Rahim, who is lodged in Sunaria jail in Rohtak, will be conducted through video conferencing,” Haryana Director General of Police BS Sandhu said.

Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh will today appear before a special CBI court through video conferencing from Rohtak jail where he is lodged after being convicted in two rape cases on August 28. CBI judge Jagdeep Singh on Friday granted permission of a video conferencing after Panchkula deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Mahabir Singh moved an application stating that they cannot bring Ram Rahim to court fearing law and order problem in Panchkula. (Also Read: Haryana Police Arrests Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s Close Aide Dilawar Singh)

There are, however, no reports of Dera followers gathering in Panchkula ahead of the verdict in two murder cases against Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insan, unlike the day he was convicted by a CBI court. On August 26, Ram Rahim was convicted in two rape cases and on August 28, he was sentenced to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment. His conviction led to violence in Panchkula and other places which left 38 people dead and 264 injured. (Also Read: Gurmeet Ram Rahim Asks Mother if Dera Sacha Sauda is Working Well)

Chhatrapati and Ranjit Singh were murdered in 2002. Ram Rahim is allegedly the main conspirator in both the murder cases. While Chhatrapati, who had exposed the rapes in Dera 15 years ago, was shot dead in front of his house from point-blank range at his residence on October 24, 2002, Ranjit Singh was killed near his village in Kurukshetra after he tried to expose the activities of Ram Rahim.

In Chhatrapati murder case, besides Dera chief, the other accused include his manager Krishan Lal and two shooters, Kuldeep Singh and Nirmal Singh. According to the reports, Krishan Lal had given his pistol and a walkie-talkie to the two shooters in presence of Ram Rahim.

In Ranjit Singh murder case, besides Ram Rahim, other Dera members – Avtar, Inder Sain, Krishan Lal (accused in journalist case too), Jasbir Singh and Sabdil Singh – conspired to kill Singh. Ranjit Singh was called to Sirsa in June 2002 and was asked to apologise to Ram Rahim by Avtar Singh and Inder Sain for circulating a letter about alleged rapes of women in the Dera.