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Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim sentenced to life term in jail for murder

SIRSA (Haryana), Oct 19: Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim and four others were sentenced to life imprisonment in the Ranjit Singh murder case by a special CBI court at Panchkula in Haryana on Monday.

Ranjit Singh, a former follower and manager of the Dera, was shot dead by four assailants on July 10, 2002 at his native Khanpur Kolian village in Kurukshetra district.

The CBI judge, Sushil Kumar Garg, on October 8 convicted Gurmeet Ram Rahim, Krishan Lal, Jasbir Singh, Avtar Singh and Sabdil Singh guilty under Sections 302 (murder) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC

According to the charge-sheet, the dera chief suspected Ranjit Singh was responsible for spreading the allegations of exploitation of the female followers in the dera. A anonymous letter was put into circulation which narrated how women were being sexually exploited by the dera head. Khatta Singh, the dera chief’s former driver, was a prosecution witness in the murder case.

The court also imposed a fine of Rs 31 lakh on Ram Rahim, half of which will go to the victim’s family.

Earlier in another case, on August 25, 2017, the special CBI court in Panchkula found him guilty of raping two Dera sadhvis (female followers). The court sentenced hime to 20 years in prison on August 28, 2017.

Ram Rahim is currently serving the 20-year term. He has also been accused in other cases.

The Dera Sacha Sauda sect was established on April 29, 1948 at Sirsa by Mastana Balochistani as as a social service, no-pofit organisartion. Balochistani was an ascetic follower of Baba Sawan Singh, the second Satguru of the Radha Soami Satsang Beas. After his death on April 18, 1960, Shah Satnam Singh took over and Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh became the third chief in 1990. The sect runs dozens of ashrams.

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