Ram Rahim Convicted for Scribe’s Murder, Sentencing on 17 January

Ram Rahim Convicted for Scribe’s Murder, Sentencing on 17 January

India

All four accused, including Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim, were convicted in the journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati murder case by a special CBI court in Panchkula on Friday, 11 January. The quantum of punishment will be pronounced on 17 January.

Chhatrapati was shot at in October 2002 after his newspaper, Poora Sach, published an anonymous letter that narrated how women were being sexually exploited by Gurmeet Ram Rahim at the Dera headquarters in Sirsa.

The journalist later succumbed to injuries, following which a case was registered in 2003. The CBI took over the case in 2006.

Earlier, elaborate security arrangements were made in Haryana, especially in Panchkula, Sirsa (headquarter of Dera) and Rohtak districts, with several companies of the state armed police, anti-riot police and commando force being deployed to deal with any law and order situation.

“Security has been enhanced in Haryana,” said Haryana ADGP (Law and Order) Muhammad Akil.

On 8 January, the special CBI court in Panchkula had accepted the state's plea and allowed the presence of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh through video conferencing for an 11 January hearing on the murder of Chhatrapati.

He has been named as the main conspirator in the case which dates back to 2002.

Around 2,000 security personnel were deployed in Bathinda range, police officials told PTI adding that security was tightened by Punjab police in Ferozepur range as well.

“Ten companies of Punjab police have been deployed in Ferozepur range,” said Punjab IG MS Chhina.

‘Violence Erupted in Haryana in 2017 After Ram Rahim’s Conviction’

Violence had erupted in Panchkula and Sirsa in Haryana in August 2017 following the conviction of Dera sect head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, leaving over 40 persons dead and scores of people injured.

The 51-year-old sect head is currently serving a 20-year prison term in Rohtak’s Sunaria jail for raping two of his women followers.

In Punjab, where there are sizeable numbers of Dera followers, elaborate security arrangements have been made in Bathinda and Ferozepur ranges.

“We have made elaborate security arrangements in Bathinda range.”
MF Farooqui, Punjab Inspector General (Bathinda Range)

Around 2,000 security personnel have been deployed in Bathinda range, Farooqui further told PTI. In the Ferozepur range as well, security was tightened by Punjab police, police said.

According to police officials, sensitive areas like Faridkot, Moga, Baghapurana, Jaitu and Kotkapura were under close watch.

“Ten companies of Punjab police have been deployed in Ferozepur range,” said Punjab IG MS Chhina.

(With inputs from PTI and News18.)

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