Rohtak: Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh has been sentenced to life imprisonment in a journalist murder case on Thursday by a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special court in Panchkula. The Dera Sacha Sauda chief is currently serving a 20-year prison term in Rohtak’s Sunaria jail for raping two of his women followers.

The three other convicts Kuldeep Singh, Nirmal Singh and Krishan Lal, have also been awarded life imprisonment. The court has also imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 each.

The Dera chief and his three close aides 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.

Ahead of the pronouncement of the quantum of sentence to Dera Chief, Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), which prohibits assembly of five or more persons, holding of public meetings, and carrying weapons, was imposed across Panchkula.

“We have imposed Section 144 across the city. The CBI Special court is in Sector 1. We have also restricted the vehicular movement on all four roads connecting to the court premises,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Kamaldeep Goel was quoted as saying to ANI, earlier in the day.

Journalist Chhatrapati’s son Anshul hailed the court’s decision. He said, “This is the triumph of truth, I feel relieved today. Prosecution had demanded capital punishment but we’re satisfied with the punishment.

After the conviction of the self-styled godman, Anshul had said, “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.”