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Court convicts Ram Rahim over journalist’s murder
January 12, 2019
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Chandigarh: Holding him guilty of conspiracy to murder, a special CBI court in Haryana’s Panchkula town on Friday convicted Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh for the murder of journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati.

Three others, who were close aides of the sect chief, were also convicted by the court. Krishan Lal, a former manager of the sect, Kuldeep and Nirmal, who were both carpenters and followers of the sect, all of who were present in the court, were immediately taken into custody by the police and shifted to the Ambala jail.

The judgement was pronounced by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court judge Jagdeep Singh in Panchkula, adjoining Chandigarh.

The quantum of punishment will be pronounced on Jan.17.

Chhatrapati, who edited a newspaper in Sirsa, was shot at five times on Oct.24, 2002 in Sirsa town in Haryana. He died on Nov.21 in a hospital in New Delhi after battling for life.

Ram Rahim appeared before the court through video conferencing from the Sunaria prison near Rohtak in view of security concerns raised by the Haryana Police and the government.

The same CBI judge had convicted the sect chief on two counts of rape on Aug.25, 2017 and sentenced him to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment.

Chhatrapati’s son Anshul demanded capital punishment for the disgraced self-styled godman.

After a special CBI court convicted Ram Rahim and three others, Anshul told the media: “Such a man is not fit to live in our society. We demand that he should be given capital punishment.

“We were hoping for the past 16-17 years that we would get justice. We have got justice today after suffering for so long.

“We had to face a lot of difficulties and suffer a lot as he (Ram Rahim) was very powerful. We thank the CBI team that investigated the case and supported us. This man should get the death sentence,” said Anshul.

Unlike the riots that rocked Panchkula and Sirsa towns in Haryana following his conviction for rape on Aug.25, 2017, tight security arrangements were made in and around the court complex in Panchkula ahead of the court hearing on Friday.

Security forces in Haryana and Punjab will remain on alert in the coming days. Security was beefed up in Rohtak and Sirsa towns in Haryana and some parts of Punjab.

Indo-Asian News Service

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