Sanjay Bumbroo and Bhartesh Singh Thakur
Tribune News Service
Panchkula, January 11
The CBI Special Court, Haryana, on Friday convicted Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in the Ram Chander Chhatrapati murder case.
Along with Ram Rahim, Dera manager Krishan Lal and carpenters Nirmal Singh and Kuldeep Singh were also convicted. The quantum of sentence will be pronounced on January 17.
Ram Rahim was present in the court through video-conferencing from Rohtak jail.
It was Kuldeep who had shot at Chhatrapati outside his house in Sirsa on the evening of October 24, 2002. Chhatrapati had later succumbed to his injuries on November 21, 2002, at Apollo Hospital, New Delhi.
Kuldeep had arrived on the scene with Nirmal on a scooter. Nirmal had managed to flee on the scooter but the police nabbed Kuldeep from the spot. They had revealed the name of Dera manager Krishan Lal who had provided a revolver to them.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court had handed over the case to the CBI on a petition by Anshul Chhatrapati, son of Chhatrapati, on November 10, 2003.
According to the CBI, Chhatrapati was killed as the Dera chief was upset over the news items in the ‘Poora Sach’ newspaper, which he ran.
In May 2002, Chhatrapati had published a news item about the anonymous complaint by a sadhvi regarding sexual exploitation of sadhvis at the Dera. Then, he started receiving threats.
Former driver of Ram Rahim, Khatta Singh, had told the court that it was the Dera chief who had ordered Chhatrapati’s killing in front of him. He said that on October 23, 2002, ‘Poora Sach’ had published a news item regarding the case of sexual exploitation of women followers. After reading the article, Ram Rahim had got angry and told Krishan, Kuldeep and Nirmal to eliminate Chattarpati. On hearing this, Krishan had gone out of the cave of Gurmeet and came back with his own revolver which he gave to Kuldeep and Nirmal, he said.
The CBI Special Court had earlier sentenced Ram Rahim to 20-year rigorous imprisonment on August 28, 2017, in a case of rape of two women followers.
He has also been facing the Ranjit Singh murder case before the same court where he is an accused along with Krishan Lal, Jasbir, Indersen, Avtaar, and Sabdil.
Ranjit was murdered on July 10, 2002. The CBI has alleged that Ram Rahim suspected him to be behind the circulation of the anonymous letter by a sadhvi alleging sexual exploitation of sadhvis at the Dera.
Sequence of events
- Oct 24, 2002 ‘Poora Sach’ editor Ram Chander Chhatrapati shot at outside his house in Sirsa
- Nov 21 Chhatrapati succumbs Jan 2003 Anshul Chhatrapati moves Punjab and Haryana HC
- Nov 10 HC orders CBI probe
- Dec 9 CBI registers FIR, makes Ram Rahim the main accused
- July 31, 2007 CBI files chargesheet in special CBI court
- Jan 11, 2019 CBI court convicts Ram Rahim, three accomplices