PANCHKULA: A special CBI court in Panchkula will on Monday pronounce the quantum of punishment for Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and four others in connection with the murder of his former manager Ranjit Singh in 2002.
On October 8, Dera Sacha Sauda chief and four others were found guilty and convicted for the murder of Ranjit Singh in 2002 by the special CBI court here.
Ahead of the sentencing, prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Code for Criminal Procedure (CrPC) have been imposed in Haryana’s Panchkula district. “In view of the apprehensions of loss of life and property, creating any tension in the district, disturbance of peace and riots due to the announcement of punishment of five accused including Ram Rahim, Section 144 is applicable today,” DCP Mohit Handa said.
Elaborate security measures have been put in place in view of the August 2017 violence when 36 people were killed following Ram Rahim’s conviction in a rape case.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has sought death sentence for the Dera chief. However, Ram Rahim has pleaded for mercy via video conference from Rohtak Jail.
The court will sentence five accused, including Gurmeet Ram Rahim, who will appear from Rohtak’s Sunaria jail through video conferencing. Accused Krishan Lal, Avtar, Sabdil and Jasbir will be physically present for the sentencing at the special CBI court located in Panchkula.
Former Dera manager Ranjit Singh, who was also a follower of the sect, was shot dead in 2002. He was murdered for his suspected role in the circulation of an anonymous letter, which narrated how women were being sexually exploited by the sect head at the Dera headquarters.
According to the CBI charge sheet, the Dera chief believed that Ranjit Singh was behind the circulation of the anonymous letter and hatched a conspiracy to kill him.
In 2017, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was sentenced to 20-year imprisonment for raping two disciples. Over two years back, the sect head was also awarded life imprisonment for the murder of a journalist, Ram Chander Chhatrapati.