Ram Rahim murder trial: Former driver resurfaces, wants statement re-recorded
CBI claims that Sirsa-based journalist Chander Chhatrapati and dera follower Ranjit Singh were murdered at the behest of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim after they tried to expose the nefarious activities of dera.punjab Updated: Sep 16, 2017 13:26 IST
Final arguments in the two murder cases in which rape convict Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh is the main conspirator began in the special CBI court in Panchkula on Saturday morning.
“Hearing has begun. Ram Rahim has also appeared through video conferencing,” Panchkula DCP Manbir Singh said.
Khatta Singh moves application
Ram Rahim’s former driver Khatta Singh moved an application before the court, urging it to re-record his statement.
Singh was a witness in the murder cases against Ram Rahim and had recorded his statement in 2007. However, he later turned hostile in 2012.
Singh now says that he turned hostile as he was under pressure from “baba and his goons”. With Ram Rahim behind bars, he says he wants to record his statement again. The court has issued notice to CBI and Ram Rahim on the plea for September 22, seeking responses whether Khatta Singh can be allowed to depose at the fag end of the trial.
In his application, Khatta Singh claimed that he was living in the Sirsa-based Dera when these crimes were committed in 2002 and had personal knowledge about the circumstances in which murder of Ranjit Singh and Chhatarpati were committed.
Ram Rahim is currently lodged in Haryana’s Rohtak jail. CBI judge Jagdeep Singh granted permission for the video conferencing on Friday after Panchkula DCP Manbir Singh moved an application, contending that they cannot bring the dera chief in person apprehending law and order problem.
Ram Rahim has been lodged in Rohtak’s Sunaria jail since August 25 after the CBI court convicted him for raping two of her female followers. The court sentenced him to 20-year jail term on August 28.
Security around the court complex in Panchkula has been stepped up and media is not allowed inside the court.
While Ranjit Singh was killed near his village in Kurukshetra district in July 2002, Chhatrapati was shot dead in front of his house in Sirsa a couple of months later in October 2002.
The CBI claimed that both of them were murdered at the behest of the dera chief after they tried to expose the nefarious activities of dera.
First Published: Sep 16, 2017 10:14 IST