Business Standard

Hearing begins in murder cases against Ram Rahim

IANS  |  Chandigarh 

The hearing in two separate cases against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and others began here on Saturday in a special amid tight security.

While seven accused in the cases were present in the in Panchkula, adjoining Chandigarh, the jailed sect cheif took part in the hearing through video conferencing from the District Jail in Sunaria near Rohtak.

Singh has been lodged in the Rohtak jail following his conviction in August in two rape cases.

Tight security arrangements, including para-military forces and Haryana Police personnel, were seen in Panchkula town, especially around the complex in Sector 1.

Security arrangements were tightened around the prison complex near Rohtak and in Sirsa district, where the headquarters of the sect are located.

The cases, related to the of Sirsa-based journalist Chhatrapati and former Dera manager Ranjit Singh, allegedly by functionaries and followers of the sect were listed for final arguments on Saturday in the of special judge Jagdeep Singh.

Final arguments in the case of journalist Chhatrapati are being held on Saturday.

The same had, on August 25, convicted Ram Rahim on two counts of rape of his female disciples. He was sentenced to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment by the on August 28.

Haryana Director General of Police B.S. Sandhu had said on Friday that adequate paramilitary and Haryana Police personnel had been stationed in Panchkula in view of the case hearing.

However, this time, no Dera followers assembled in Panchkula ahead of Saturday's hearing, unlike the rape case hearing where over one lakh followers had converged in the town and had indulged in large-scale violence after his conviction.

Chhatrapati was shot at in October 2002. He died in November, after battling for life in a hospital for a few days.

Former Dera manager Ranjit Singh, who was believed to be privy to a number of wrong things going on inside the sect headquarters, was shot dead in July 2003.

The sect chief is an accused in both cases, along with other accused, as these were carried out allegedly at his behest.

Ram Rahim's conviction in August in the rape cases led to violence in Panchkula and Sirsa in Haryana, leaving 38 people dead and 264 injured. Isolated incidents of violence were also reported from Delhi and several other places in Punjab.

--IANS

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, September 16 2017. 11:52 IST
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