Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, chief of the Dera Sacha Sauda sect, was held guilty in the murder of a journalist by a Special CBI court today. The court will decide the quantum of punishment for the Dera Sacha Sauda chief on January 17. On August 24, 2002, Ramchandra Chhatrapati, was shot after his evening daily 'Poora Sach' published an anonymous letter about the sexual exploitation of women by Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh at the Dera headquarters in Sirsa, Haryana.
He succumbed to his injuries in November the same year. A case was registered against Ram Rahim in 2003 which was handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation in 2006.
Ram Rahim's former driver Khatta Singh who is the most important witness of the CBI in the case had said the sect chief had ordered the killing of the journalist. Currently, Ram Rahim is serving a 20-year imprisonment in Sunaria jail at Rohtak for raping two of his women disciples.
Ram Rahim will now appear through video conferencing for the hearing in journalist's murder case today. Security has been beefed up in Haryana and parts of Punjab in the wake of verdict by Special CBI court in Panchkula.
Elaborate security arrangements have been made in Haryana especially in Panchkula, Sirsa (headquarter of Dera) and Rohtak districts with several companies of the state armed police, anti-riot police and commando force being deployed to deal with any law and order situation.
Security has been enhanced outside the Panchkula court complex with Haryana police putting up barricades on roads leading to the court, said a police official, adding district police chiefs have been directed to not allow any unnecessary gathering and maintain extra vigil.
Additional police force has also been deployed near the headquarters of Dera Sacha Sauda in Sirsa in Haryana, police said.
Violence had erupted in Panchkula and Sirsa in Haryana in August 2017 following the conviction of Dera sect head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, leaving over 40 persons dead and scores of people injured.
Edited by Aseem Thapliyal