Fi­nal ar­gu­ments in two mur­der cases against Ram Rahim be­gin

The Asian Age - - Front Page - TAN­VEER THAKUR

Fi­nal ar­gu­ments in two mur­der cases al­legedly in­volv­ing Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh be­gan in a spe­cial CBI court in Panchkula on Satur­day amid height­ened se­cu­rity ar­range­ments.

The court is cur­rently hear­ing two mur­der cases — one in­volv­ing killing of a jour­nal­ist Ram Chan­der Ch­ha­tra­p­ati and an­other in­volv­ing death of a for­mer Dera man­ager Ran­jit Singh. The court has de­cided to hear fi­nal ar­gu­ments in the two mur­der cases sep­a­rately. Ran­jit Singh’s mur­der case will be heard on a daily ba­sis from Mon­day, the court said. Ch­ha­tra­p­ati’s case will now be heard on Septem­ber 22. Mean­while, the Dera chief's for­mer driver Khatta Singh moved an ap­pli­ca­tion in the court seek­ing to record a fresh state­ment.

While seven ac­cused in the mur­der cases were present in the court in Panchkula, the jailed sect chief took part in the hear­ing through video con­fer­enc­ing from the dis­trict jail in Su­naria near Ro­htak. Singh has been lodged in the Ro­htak jail fol­low­ing his con­vic­tion in Au­gust in two rape cases. He has been named as the main con­spir­a­tor in both cases. Tight se­cu­rity ar­range­ments, in­clud­ing para­mil­i­tary forces and Haryana po­lice per­son­nel, were in place in Panchkula town, es­pe­cially around the court com­plex.

Se­cu­rity ar­range­ments were also tight­ened around the prison com­plex near Ro­htak and in Sirsa dis­trict, where the head­quar­ters of the sect are lo­cated. “We have made ad­e­quate se­cu­rity ar­range­ments ahead of the hear­ing in the cases,” said Haryana DGP B.S. Sandhu.

Con­tin­gents of para­mil­i­tary troops and the Haryana po­lice have been sta­tioned in Panchkula to pre­vent any un­to­ward in­ci­dent, he said.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim

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