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Ram Rahim & 4 others get life imprisonment in Dera manager murder case

Ram Rahim & 4 others get life imprisonment in Dera manager murder case

Panchkula, Oct 18 (UNI) A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Monday sentenced
Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and four others to life imprisonment in Dera manager Ranjit Singh murder case.
Special CBI Judge Dr Sushil Garg also imposed a fine of Rs 31 lakh on the Dera chief and Rs 50,000 each on other convicts Krishan Lal, Jasbir Singh, Avtar Singh and Sabdil.
On October 8, the court had convicted all the accused for the murder of Dera follower Ranjit Singh in 2002 and fixed October 12 for pronouncing the quantum of punishment but after hearing the arguments of both the sides the court had adjourned the sentence till October 18. Another accused Indrasen had died in the meantime.
The Dera chief was produced in the court through video conferencing from Sunaria jail of Rohtak, where he is serving a 20-year term for raping two followers while the four other convicts were present in the court.
The Dera chief was earlier sentenced to 20 years in prison in the rape case of two followers. Apart from this, he was also sentenced to life imprisonment in the Sirsa journalist Ramchandra Chhatrapati murder case.
Dera manager Ranjit Singh was shot dead by four assailants at his native Khanpur Kolian village in Kurukshetra district on July 10, 2002.
As per the CBI charge sheet, the Dera chief had suspected that Ranjit Singh was behind the circulation of an anonymous letter, highlighting sexual exploitation of his female followers in the dera.
Dissatisfied with the police investigation, father of Ranjit had filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court in January 2003, seeking a CBI probe into the murder. After investigating the matter, the CBI registered a case against the accused and framed the charges against him and others in the special CBI court in 2007.
There were 250 appearances and testimonies and statements of as many as 61 people were recorded in this case. There were three main witnesses, including eyewitnesses Sukhdev Singh and Joginder Singh and Khatta Singh, the driver of the Dera chief, in this case. However, Khatta Singh had retracted his statement in the court but after many years, he once again appeared in the court and gave his testimony.
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