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Dera chief Ram Rahim Singh, 3 others get life imprisonment for journalist murder

File photo of Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The special CBI court on Thursday sentenced the Sirsa based Dera Sacha Sauda chief Ram Rahim Singh and three others to life imprisonment for the murder of journalist Ramchander Chhatrapati. The court also imposed a fine of  ₹50,000 each.

Central Bureau of Investigation court judge Jagdeep Singh, who pronounced the sentence had last week convicted all the four accused including — Gurmeet Ram Rahim, Nirmal Singh, Kuldeep Singh and Krishan Lal in the murder case. All the accused appeared through video conferencing when the quantum of sentence was pronounced by the court.

The CBI counsel H.P.S Verma told reporters that ''all the four accused have been awarded life imprisonment, besides the court has also imposed a fine of ₹50,000 each.”

The case pertains to the murder of journalist Ramchander Chhatrapati in year 2002 after he published an anonymous letter in his evening newspaper ''Poora Sach'' by a female Dera follower who accused Gurmeet Ram Rahim of rape. Chhatrapati was shot five times outside his house. He succumbed to his injuries a few days later.

All the four accused had been convicted under section 302 (murder) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code. Nirmal Singh and Krishan Lal were also convicted under the Arms Act.

Anshul Chhatrapati, son of slain Sirsa-based journalist Ramchander Chhatrapati, displays victory sign after the special CBI court pronounced quantum of sentence to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and three others outside court compound in Panchkula

Anshul Chhatrapati, son of slain Sirsa-based journalist Ramchander Chhatrapati, displays victory sign after the special CBI court pronounced quantum of sentence to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and three others outside court compound in Panchkula   | Photo Credit: Akhilesh Kumar

 

The CBI lawyers during their arguments in the court urged for capital punishment for the accused, submitting that the case falls in the category of rarest of the rare as it was unprecedented that a godman, who had several lakhs of followers, sexually exploited women and was involved in getting people murdered.

Ram Rahim Singh, who is serving serving 20-year imprisonment for two counts of rape of female followers appeared before the court through video-conferencing from Sunaria jail in district Rohtak while other three accused appeared from the Ambala jail.

The police registered the case in year 2003 but did not include the name of Gurmeet Ram Rahim. Later, Anshul Chattrapati, son of late Ramchander Chattrapati approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court asking to transfer the case to the CBI. The case was handed over to the CBI in year 2006 and a chargesheet by the CBI was filed in July 2007.


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Printable version | Jan 16, 2022 5:46:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/journalist-murder-dera-chief-ram-rahim-singh-others-get-life-imprisonment/article26016205.ece

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