Panchkula, Jan 11 :
Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim was on Friday convicted by a special CBI court for the murder of journalist Ram Chander Chhatarpati in 2002. The special CBI court in Panchkula convicted Ram Rahim and three others in this case. The sentence will be pronounced on January 17.
“All the four accused have been convicted,” CBI counsel HPS Verma told news agency PTI after special CBI Judge Jagdeep Singh pronounced the verdict.
The three others accused are Kuldeep Singh, Nirmal Singh and Krishan Lal.
Earlier this week, the court directed the Haryana government to produce the Dera chief via video conference for the pronouncement of the verdict in the November 2002 journalist murder case.
Journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati was shot at point-blank range at his home in Sirsa on October 24, 2002, months after his newspaper ‘Poora Sach’ published an anonymous letter alleging how women looking for solace in Ram Rahim’s dera as “sadhvis” were sexually assaulted and raped by Ram Rahim. Ram Rahim is already in Rohtak’s Sunaria jail, serving a 20-year old prison term since 2017 for raping two of his woman followers.
Ahead of the Friday’s verdict, elaborate security arrangements were made in Haryana and parts of Punjab. Several companies of the state armed police, anti-riot police and commando force were deployed to combat any untoward situation.
On 25 August 2017, more than 40 people died and dozens others were injured after violence broke out in Panchkula and other towns of Haryana after his followers clashed with security forces following the conviction of Ram Rahim in the rape case.