Ravinder Singh Malik
Dera chief, 3 others awarded life term for killing editor of “Poora Sach” newspaper. The CBI Special Court, Panchkula, has awarded life imprisonment to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim in the case of shooting of journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati.Dera chief Ram Ram will have to stay in jail until he dies as he has been sentenced life imprisonment Present sentence will not be concurrent with previous imprisonment of 20 years in rape case of two of his followers. It is learnt that Ram Rahim remained silent for most of the time during hearing in court, though court asked to provide details about his family members.
Along with Ram Rahim, Dera manager Krishan Lal and carpenters at Dera — Nirmal Singh and Kuldeep Singh — were also awarded life imprisonment. Special Judge Jagdeep Singh also imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 each on all the four accused.Chhatrapati was shot at outside his house in Sirsa on the evening of October 24, 2002. He later succumbed to his injuries on November 21, 2002, at Apollo Hospital, New Delhi Ram Rahim and other three accused – Kuldeep Singh, Nirmal Singh and Krishan Lal – were present in the court through video conferencing from Rohtak jail and Ambala jail, respectively. It was Kuldeep Singh who had shot at Chhatrapati outside his house in Sirsa. Kuldeep Singh had come along with Nirmal Singh on a scooter.Nirmal Singh had managed to flee on scooter but the police nabbed Kuldeep Singh on the spot.
They revealed the name of Dera manager Krishan Lal who had provided his revolver to them. The Punjab and Haryana High Court had handed over the case to CBI on a petition by Anshul Chhatrapati, son of Ram Chander Chhatrapati, on November 10, 2003. According to CBI, Ram Chander Chhatrapati was killed as Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim was upset over news items in ‘Poora Sach’ newspaper, which he was running. In May,2002, Chhatrapati published a news item about the anonymous complaint of a Sadhvi regarding sexual exploitation of Sadhvis in Dera Sacha Sauda in the newspaper. From there onwards, he started receiving threats.Former driver of Ram Rahim, Khatta Singh, had told the court that it was Dera chief who had ordered Chhatrapati’s killing in front of him.
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