Self-styled godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim and three others —
Kuldeep Singh, Nirmal Singh and Krishan Lal — have been convicted in journalist Ram Chander Chhatarpati’s murder by a CBI special court in Panchkula on Friday, reported news agency ANI. His sentence will be pronounced on January 17.
Chhatrapati was shot at in October 2002 and died later. He was targeted by the aides of Ram Rahim after his newspaper ”Poora Sach” published an anonymous letter narrating how women were being sexually exploited by the Dera chief at the headquarters in Sirsa.
The case was registered in 2003 and handed over to the CBI in 2006.
The self-styled godman was convicted of rape by a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in August 25, 2017. His conviction led to widespread violence from members of the Dera Sacha Sauda (DSS).
Three days later, Ram Rahim was sentenced to 20 years prison time for rape. He has also faced prosecution for murder and ordering forced castrations.
The Supreme Court, had in May 2018, dismissed Ram Rahim’s appeal against the Punjab and Haryana High Court order allowing his former driver Khatta Singh to depose afresh before the special CBI court in two murder cases.
The apex court ordered that Khatta Singh’s statement will be recorded afresh in the murder cases of Ranjit Singh, a member of the Dera’s managing committee and journalist Ramchandra Chattrapati. Khatta Singh had filed a plea in the CBI court, demanding that his statement should be re-recorded. The plea was dismissed. Khatta Singh challenged the CBI court’s decision in the High Court, which allowed his appeal.