Bhartesh Singh Thakur
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, January 11
Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s name cropped up for the first time in the dying statement of “Poora Sach” editor Ram Chander Chhatrapati.
Sub-inspector (SI) Ram Chander had recorded the statement at the PGIMS, Rohtak, but he did not mention the dera chief’s name. During the polygraph test of Ram Chander, his responses were deceptive when asked about omitting the name.
Not trusting the state police, Chhatrapati’s son Anshul approached the HC for transferring the case to the CBI.
During the trial, he had told the court that on the fateful day of October 24, 2002, his family was about to have dinner in their house when someone called his father out.
Chhatrapati stepped out followed by his children. Anshul switched on the blub and he saw two boys in the street, with one of them holding a pistol.
He heard one of them, later identified as Nirmal Singh, saying to the other, Kuldeep Singh, “Maar goli” (Shoot).”
Kuldeep fired four to five shots at Chhatrapati. He fell down. But he somehow got up only to fall down again. The children went numb for a moment. As the reality dawned on them, they started raising cries for help.
Anshul heard Kuldeep telling Nirmal, “Bhaag le, kaam ho gaya (Run, the job is done).”
He took his father to the Civil Hospital, Sirsa, in his neighbour’s car. But the doctor referred Chhatrapati to the PGIMS. After being opperated upon at the PGIMS, he regained consciousness on October 25, 2002.
The SI visited the PGIMS the next day and enquired about the incident from Chhatrapati.
Anshul had submitted in the court his father had told the SI that the attack on him was a conspiracy hatched by Gurmeet Ram Rahim and accused Krishan Lal.
After the statement had been recorded, Anshul checked it and found Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s name missing. When he enquired about it, the SI replied, “Humein kyun marwate ho (Why get us into trouble).” But the SI assured him he would make the necessary correction in the statement after reaching Sirsa. But that wasn’t done.
The main characters
Khatta Singh, former driver of dera chief gurmeet Ram Rahim He had once retracted his statement recorded before the CBI as well as before a magistrate. But on May 5, 2018, he apologised to the court for resiling earlier and said he was under pressure due to threat to his life. He told the court that Gurmeet Ram Rahim had ordered Ram Chander Chhatrapati’s killing in his presence.
HPS Verma, CBI counsel
Since 2005, he had been handling three cases on behalf of the CBI against the dera chief — the Ranjit Singh murder case, the Chhatrapati murder case and the rape case. Two have ended in conviction. On one occasion, he escaped a bid on his life and, on another, a lawyer who was a dera follower had threatened to kill him. But the threats did not bog him down.
Satish Dagar, CBI SP
He had investigated the three cases against the dera chief. He had hardly missed any hearing in all three cases till he remained posted in Chandigarh. Now, he is posted in New Delhi. On Friday, he was present in the CBI court.