Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh: From 'baba of the bling' to rape convict

CBI court to hear murder cases against Ram Rahim

A file picture of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

A file picture of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.   | Photo Credit: Vijay Bate

The special CBI court is hearing the cases of killings of journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati and former Dera manager Ranjit Singh.

A special Central Bureau of Investigation court in Panchkula on Saturday decided to hear arguments in two murder cases against the Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim separately in the coming week.

While the hearing in the case pertaining to the murder of Ranjit Singh, a Dera functionary, will be held on September 18, the one pertaining to the murder of journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati has been slated for September 22, advocate S.K. Garg, representing the Dera chief, told reporters.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim, who is lodged at the Sunaria Jail near Rohtak, made his appearance in the Panchkula court via video-conferencing as final arguments in the cases progressed on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Khatta Singh, former driver of the Dera chief, approached the special CBI court to record a fresh statement in the two murder cases.

Singh, who is a witness in both cases, had earlier deposed against Gurmeet Ram Rahim in 2007. However, he retracted his statement in 2012.

“I was afraid of Gurmeet Ram Rahim earlier...but now my faith in the system is restored. I want to record my witness statement again,” he said.

Singh’s advocate Navkiran Singh told reporters that the court has issued notices to the CBI and the accused on his client’s request. The hearing on the matter will be held on September 22, he added.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim, who has been sentenced to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment on two counts of rape of female followers, is the main accused in the two murder cases.

It is alleged that Ranjit Singh and Ram Chander Chhatrapati were shot dead in separate incidents in 2002 at the behest of Gurmeet Ram Rahim.

Tight security arrangements were in place in Panchkula, with Haryana Police and paramilitary personnel deployed around the district courts complex and other areas of the town to maintain law and order.

Haryana witnessed deadly violence by Dera Sacha Sauda followers after Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was convicted in rape cases by the special CBI court on August 25. It left 41 people dead and over 250 people injured.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 10:28:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/final-arguments-begin-in-two-murder-cases-naming-dera-chief-gurmeet-ram-rahim-singh/article19697656.ece

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