Sirsa: Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and four others have been convicted in the journalist Ram Chander Chhatarpati murder case, by CBI Special Court in Panchkula on Friday. The sentence will, however, be pronounced on January 17.
Earlier in the morning today, security was heightened in Sirsa, Panchkula and neighbouring areas in Haryana as the court was set to pronounce its verdict against jailed Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
On Tuesday, the court had accepted the state’s plea and had allowed the presence of Singh through video conferencing.
Tight security is in place with directions issued to police in all the districts not to allow any unnecessary gathering and maintain extra vigil. An additional police force has also been deployed near the headquarters of Dera Sacha Sauda in Sirsa in Haryana, police said.
The police carried out a flag march in Sirsa, where the Dera Sacha Sauda’s headquarters are located.
The 51-year-old self-styled godman is currently serving a 20-year prison term in Rohtak’s Sunaria jail for raping two of his women followers. He has been named as the main conspirator in the case dating back to 2002. The court also directed all other accused persons — Nirmal Singh, Kuldeep Singh and Krishan Lal – who are currently out on bail, to be present in the court.
In May 2018, former driver of the Dera chief Khatta Singh had deposed in the murder cases of journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati and Dera follower Ranjit Singh. Back then, Khatta had said that he had changed his testimony due to the threat from the Dera chief and his goons.
He had told the CBI in 2007 he had information about the meeting between Ram Rahim and his men before Dera follower Ranjit Singh was murdered on July 10, 2002.
He had also claimed to have information about Singh directing his men to murder Ram Chander Chhatrapati, the editor of a Sirsa-based newspaper. However, he had later turned hostile during his testimony in the CBI court in February 2012.