New Delhi: Gurmeet Ram Rahim and four others have been sentenced to life imprisonment in the murder case of Dera manager Ranjit Singh. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special court in Panchkula on Monday pronounced the verdict after 19 years.
A fine of Rs 31 Lakhs has been levied on Ram Rahim and Rs 50,000 on the remaining accused, news agency ANI reported.
Ranjit Singh, who was murdered on July 10, 2002, was a former supporter of Ram Rahim Singh’s Dera Sacha Sauda.
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 exposed how women were being sexually exploited by the Dera head.
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, news agency PTI reported.
The CBI special court in Panchkula, had on October 8, convicted Singh and four co-accused under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Previously, Punjab and Haryana High Court dismissed a plea seeking transfer of the trial from the CBI court to any other CBI court in Punjab, Haryana, or Union Territory of Chandigarh. The petition, filed by Ranjit Sigh’s son, Jagseer Singh, was pending litigation since August 24.
In September this year, the Punjab police denied reports of giving clean chit to Dera Sacha Sauda chief in a 2015 case of desecration of Guru Granth Sahib. He was named as an accused in a case that pertains to the theft of a “bir” (copy) of the Guru Granth Sahib from the Burj Jawahar Singh Wala Gurdwara.
In 2019, Dera Sacha Sauda chief and three others were pronounced guilty of the murder of journalist Ramchandra Chhatrapati who had published an anonymous letter about the sexual exploitation of women by Ram Rahim Singh at his ashram.
At present, the self-styled godman is serving a 20-year term in Rohtak’s Sunaria Jail for raping two of his women’s disciples. He was convicted for the rape by a special CBI court in August 2017.