Rohtak: A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Court in Panchkula will pronounce the quantum of sentence to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a journalist murder case on Thursday via video conferencing.

The Dera chief and his three close aides — Nirmal Singh, Kuldeep Singh and Krishan Lal – were convicted on Friday, January 11, by a special CBI court for the murder of Sirsa-based journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati. The judgement was pronounced by CBI court judge Jagdeep Singh in Panchkula, adjoining Chandigarh.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh is currently serving a 20-year prison term in Rohtak’s Sunaria jail for raping two of his women followers.

Journalist Chhatrapati’s son has demanded capital punishment for the self-styled godman. “Such a man is not fit to live in our society. We demand that he should be given capital punishment. We were hoping for the past 16-17 years that we would get justice. We have got justice today after suffering for so long,” Anshul said while speaking to reporters after the court’s verdict.

Adding, he said, ”We had to face a lot of difficulties and suffer a lot as he was very powerful. We thank the CBI team that investigated the case and supported us. This man should get the death sentence.”

Ahead of the pronouncement of the quantum of sentence to the Dera chief, a high-alert has been sounded in Sirsa and Panchkula. The regions witnessed widespread violence in August 2017 following the conviction of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a rape case. At least, 40 persons died and several others were injured that time.

Journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati was shot at in October 2002 after his newspaper, ‘Poora Sach’, published an anonymous letter narrating how women were being sexually exploited by Gurmeet Ram Rahim at the Dera headquarters in Sirsa. He later succumbed to injuries and a case was registered in 2003. The case was handed over to the CBI in 2006.