There is a difference between a riot and waging war, said a Panchkula court dropping attempt to murder and sedition charges against 53 followers and officials of Dera Sacha Sauda.
These followers were being tried for the violence that had broken out in Panchkula after the Dera chief Ram Rahim Singh Insaan’s conviction, killing around 40 and injuring over 250 people.
According to a report by Scroll, the court said the prosecution’s assertion that the Dera followers pelted stones cannot be seen as an attempt to murder since no police personnel’s life had been endangered due to the pelting activity.
The court dismissed the sedition charges saying, “Overt acts, such as collection of men, arms and ammunition, itself do not mean that they are waging a war,” reported The Tribune.
The court said there is a difference between riot and waging war since that purpose and intentions of the actors differ.
Aditional Sessions Judge Ranjan Walia further said the prosecution had not obtained mandatory permission from the state or central government to file sedition charges.
Ram Rahim Singh Insaan was sentenced to 20 years in prison on 28 August 2017, after having been pronounced guilty of rape.