Hearing in 2 murder cases against Dera head on in Panchkula court

Chandigarh, September 16: The hearing in two murder cases against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh has begun at the CBI Special Court in Panchkula.
Amid tight security, CBI Judge Jagdeep Singh reached the court around 9.45 am.
Contingents of paramilitary troops and the Haryana Police have been deployed in Panchkula as security arrangements were tightened in Punjab and Haryana.

Ram Rahim Singh, 50, will appear before a CBI special court here through video conferencing from Sunaria jail in Rohtak where is lodged after being sentenced to 20 years in prison in two rape cases.

The CBI court is hearing the cases of murder of journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati and former Dera manager Ranjit Singh.

“We have made adequate security arrangements ahead of the hearing in the cases,” said Haryana Director General of Police B S Sandhu.

Contingents of paramilitary troops and the Haryana Police have been stationed in Panchkula to prevent any untoward incident, he said.

“The hearing in the cases against Ram Rahim, who is lodged in Sunaria jail in Rohtak, will be conducted through video conferencing,” Sandhu said.

Ram Rahim was sentenced to 20 year in jail sentence on August 28 in the two rape cases by the special CBI Court.

Several parts of Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan had witnessed large-scale violence following his conviction in the two rape cases on August 25.

While 41 people were killed in Haryana in the violence, no deaths were reported from Punjab and Rajasthan.

Sirsa-based journalist Chhatrapati was shot at in October 2002 after the evening newspaper ‘Poora Sach’, owned by him, published an anonymous letter narrating how women were allegedly being sexually exploited by the sect head at the Dera headquarters in Sirsa. He died later.

The second case relates to the murder of former Dera manager Ranjit Singh who was allegedly shot dead in 2002. He was murdered for his suspected role in the circulation of the anonymous letter, which had made the sexual exploitation allegations, according to the prosecution.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court had in November 2003 ordered a CBI probe into the murder of Chhatrapati and Ranjit Singh after the families of both the victims approached the court.

The CBI had filed the chargesheet in the murder cases on July 30, 2007. —With PTI inputs

News Source: http://www.tribuneindia.com