Breaking News Ranjit Singh murder case: Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet...

Ranjit Singh murder case: Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim, 4 others get life imprisonment

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Chandigarh, Oct 18 (ILNS)A CBI Court in Panchkula granted life imprisonment to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim and five others for murdering sevadar Ranjit Singh, former Dera manager, in 2002.

The CBI Special judge Sushil Garg at Panchkula, Haryana, while granting life imprisonment to the five, also imposed a fine of Rs 31 lakh on Ram Rahim and Rs 50,000 each on the other four.

Earlier on October 8, The CBI Special judge Sushil Garg had convicted all the five accused, including Dera chief, Krishan Lal, Jasbir Singh, Avtar Singh and Sabdil. One of the accused, Inder Sain, had died during the trial in 2020.

Gurmeet is presently lodged in Sunaria jail in Rohtak district, serving 20-year imprisonment for raping his two female followers. The rape case was also decided by the same court on August 25, 2017. Earlier on January 17, 2019, the Dera chief was convicted for the murder of Sirsa-based journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati by the same judge.

Earlier this month, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had dismissed a plea filed by the son of Ranjit Singh, seeking transfer of the murder trial against Ram Rahim to another CBI court in Punjab, Haryana, or Chandigarh on the ground that the presiding judge conducting the trial was unduly influenced by the accused through a public prosecutor of CBI.

Ranjit Singh was shot dead on July 10, 2002, for his suspected role in the circulation of an anonymous letter, which narrated how women followers (sadvis) were being sexually exploited by the sect head at the Dera headquarters. Subsequently, Sirsa-based journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati who published the same in a news report was also murdered. According to the CBI charge sheet, filed on July 30, 2007, the Dera chief believed that Ranjit Singh was behind the circulation of the anonymous letter and hatched a conspiracy to kill him.

While CBI sought death sentence for the Dera chief at the last hearing, Ram Rahim pleaded for mercy via video conference from Rohtak jail. The Dera chief highlighted social works done by the sect, besides his health problems, including blood pressure, eye and kidney ailments.

CBI opposed Dera chief’s plea saying the victim treated him as God and the accused committed offences against him. The national agency further said Rahim had criminal antecedents and committed the offence in a cold-blooded manner without provocation./ILNS/AP/SNG/

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