Ranjit Singh murder case: Dera Sacha Sauda head Ram Rahim found guilty
A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Panchkula on Friday held Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim guilty of conspiracy in the murder of Ranjit Singh, a former dera manager, in 2002. The court also convicted four others, three for killing Ranjit and one for conspiring the murder plot.
Special CBI judge Sushil Kumar Garg held Jasbir Singh, a follower; Krishan Lal, a dera manager; Sabdil, gunman of Dera head, guilty of murder, and Avtar Singh, a key functionary of the dera, of conspiracy.
The quantum of punishment will be awarded on October 12, said, CBI special prosecutor HPS Verma. All convicts face punishment up to death sentence.
HC dismissed plea for transfer of trial
On Tuesday, the high court had dismissed a plea of Ranjit Singh’s son Jagseer Singh, seeking the transfer of trial to another court in neighboring states, levelling allegations against a CBI lawyer. However, the high court termed the allegations based upon surmises and conjectures.
Acting on the plea of Jagseer Singh, the high court stayed further proceedings on August 24, two days before the trial court was to pronounce the final judgment.
Ranjit Singh, a former follower of Ram Rahim, was shot dead by four assailants on July 10, 2002, at his native Khanpur Kolian village in Kurukshetra. Two remains unidentified till now.
Ranjit stood against sexual abuse at dera
According to the CBI, Ranjit was murdered as Ram Rahim suspected that he was behind the circulation of an anonymous letter highlighting sexual exploitation of female disciples at the dera. The CBI had stated that the letters on sexual exploitation of female disciples had reference to Ranjit Singh and one of his sisters and in June 2002, he was summoned to Dera when content of the letter came to light. He was threatened with dire consequences but Ranjit Singh refused to “seek pardon”, telling the convicts that he had done nothing wrong.
The dera head is lodged in Rohtak’s Sunaria Jail, serving a 20-year-jail term for raping two disciples and life sentence in the murder case of a journalist in 2002.
There were mainly three cases registered against the Sirsa-based dera chief since 2002-03. All were investigated by the CBI. The dera chief has been convicted in two cases, one related to sexual exploitation of women disciples and the second of the murder of journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati. The third case was of Ranjit Singh in which he was convicted on Friday. The first conviction was in a sexual exploitation case in August 2017, which had resulted in widespread violence in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.