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Violence after Ram Rahim conviction: HC hints at common place of trial for all accused

Ram Rahim was convicted on August 25 for raping two disciples in 2002 on dera premises. His conviction resulted in widespread violence in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. In Panchkula alone, more than 35 persons died.

india Updated: May 26, 2018 13:47 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
As many as 240 FIRs were registered in Haryana and in nearly 200 cases challans have been filed. A total of 2,669 were arrested in these cases registered mainly in Panchkula, Sirsa, Hisar, Karnal and Fatehabad.
As many as 240 FIRs were registered in Haryana and in nearly 200 cases challans have been filed. A total of 2,669 were arrested in these cases registered mainly in Panchkula, Sirsa, Hisar, Karnal and Fatehabad. (HT File )

The Punjab and Haryana high court will examine whether trials in criminal cases registered in incidents of violence reported across Haryana after the conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in August 2017, can be conducted at one place.

As many as 240 FIRs were registered in Haryana and in nearly 200 cases challans have been filed. A total of 2,669 were arrested in these cases registered mainly in Panchkula, Sirsa, Hisar, Karnal and Fatehabad.

Ram Rahim was convicted on August 25 for raping two disciples in 2002 on dera premises. His conviction resulted in widespread violence in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. In Panchkula alone, more than 35 persons died.

The high court full bench presided over by justice Surya Kant asked lawyers assisting the court in public interest litigation (PIL) related to the violence to examine legal provisions in the matter and accordingly, the court can decide on the next date of hearing in July. “It (common place of trial) will help in courts not passing contradictory orders and will also help in speedy trial,” the high court bench observed.

Panel to oversee Dera health institutes

The court also sought details about the qualification of the doctors and paramedics employed at the three health institutes run by Shah Satnam Singh Development and Research Foundation at the dera premises in Sirsa. The dera runs an allopathic hospital, one aurvedic hospital and a naturopathy hospital, besides an eye bank, blood bank etc.

The allopathic hospital has 19 doctors, 96 paramedics. Three doctors work at the ayurvedic hospital and one doctor runs the naturopathy hospital. As many as 131 persons are employed as support staff. Around 160 persons are visiting the hospital daily, the government report said.

The high court approved an ad hoc committee, to be headed by civil surgeon, Sirsa, which will oversee day-to-day functioning of these health institutes. The government has already constituted a similar committee to oversee functioning of educational institutes.

Defence counsel in Aarushi Talwar murder case to defend Ram Rahim

Tanveer Ahmed Mir, a Delhi lawyer, who has successfully defended dentist couple Rajesh Talwar and Nupur Talwar in the 2008 Aarushi Talwar murder case, will now be appearing for Gurmeet Ram Rahim and Honeypreet in different courts. Ahmed is also defending a class-11 student who was accused of murder of his classmate in a Gurgaon school in 2017. “Someone will have to come forward and defend him (Ram Rahim),” he told reporters after Friday’s hearing before the high court. However, high court senior advocate SK Garg Narwana, who has defended Ram Rahim in different courts, will also continue to defend him, according to his office.