Gurmeet Ram Rahim Sentenced For Life in Journalist’s Murder Case
Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh is currently serving 20-year jail term in the rape and murder case.
Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh has been sentenced for life in prison by a special CBI court in Panchkula on Thursday, 17 January, in the murder case of a journalist.
The three other convicts, Kuldeep Singh, Nirmal Singh and Krishan Lal have also been awarded life imprisonment. The court has also imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 each on all the convicts.
The CBI court pronounced the quantum of sentence to Ram Rahim and three others through video conference after the Haryana government filed a plea seeking the appearance of sect's leader via video in the murder case of Ram Chander Chhatrapati, according to CBI Counsel HPS Verma, as reported by PTI.
The self-styled godman is currently serving 20-year prison term in Rohtak's Sunaria jail for raping two women followers.
Journalist Ramchandra Chhatarpati’s son said the verdict is the triumph of truth. “I feel relieved today. Prosecution had demanded capital punishment but we’re satisfied with the punishment,” he told reporters after the quantum of punishment was pronounced.
On 11 January, Special CBI Court Judge Jagdeep Singh had convicted the self-styled godman and three others – Kuldeep Singh, Nirmal Singh and Krishan Lal – in the murder case.
All four were 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.
The state government had filed the plea on Tuesday, 15 January, citing that the movement of Dera chief could lead to law and order situation.
Verma said counsels of all the four convicts will be in present in the court when the quantum of sentence will be pronounced.
Meanwhile, security has been beefed up in Panchkula and other parts of Haryana.
Journalist Had Exposed Sexual Exploitation Allegations
The journalist was killed in Haryana's Sirsa city in 2002 after his newspaper published a letter alleging sexual exploitation of women by the self-styled godman.
Chhatrapati was shot outside his house in October 2002 after his newspaper 'Poora Sach' published an anonymous letter narrating the alleged sexual exploitation of women followers by Ram Rahim at the Dera headquarters in Sirsa.
The Dera chief was named as the main conspirator in the case.
Chhatrapati's family had approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2003, seeking transfer of the case to the CBI.
The investigation was later handed over to the CBI, which filed a charge sheet in July 2007.
(With inputs from PTI, ANI)
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