By Kiran Deep, Roving Editor
Finally after 15 years, the CBI Special Court Panchkula judge Jagdeep Singh on Friday convicted Dera Sacha Sauda Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in rape case of two dera followers. The quantum of sentence will be pronounced on August 28 in the case. In addition to it, two murder cases against dera chief are also pending in the same CBI Special Court. It’s high time for Haryana government not to play vote bank politics and stay away from extending all VVIP help to dera chief. The CM and other leaders of the state who have very soft corner for dera must go through the allegations of rape and murder leveled against the dera chief. So that in future, the government must think before extending undue favour to any such dera. To much aghast despite prohibitory order imposed under section 144 of the CrPC over one lakh dera followers were allowed to gather in Panchkula ahead of verdict due to lenient view of Haryana government. Many of these dera followers had led to violence and damaged the government and public property after dera chief was held guilty.
Here are some of the important facts of the three cases include rape and murder and all four pages of an anonymous letter…
It all began in May 2002 when an anonymous letter of Sadhvi leveling serious allegations of sexual exploitation of sadhvis (female followers) was circulated in Sirsa. The letter was addressed to then Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, demanding inquiry against the Dera Sacha Sauda Chief, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, accusing him of rape of sadhvis in the Dera Sacha Sauda situated in Sirsa. This letter was published by Journalist Chhatrapati in his evening newspaper “Poora Sach” on May 30, 2002. There were serious natures of allegations in the anonymous letter of the sadhvi against the dera chief, which had led the high court to order CBI inquiry into the case on September 24, 2002.
Sadhvi in a letter alleged that the dera chief had been committing sexual intercourse with her after an interval of 25 to 30 days for the past three years. The dera chief, too, had sexually exploited other girls. Most of the girls residing in the dera were possessing degrees of BA, MA and Bed. There were 40 to 50 more girls staying in the dera and their medical examination would reveal all the truth, she further alleged. All the pages of the anonymous letter are attached with the story for details.
The CBI investigations in the case established that it was an anonymous letter written by a dera sadhvi against the Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh which led to the murder of Ranjeet Singh and journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati by dera men. Later after the CBI investigation two Sadhvis had recorded their statements under Section 164, CrPC, accusing the dera chief of committing rape. After nearly four years of investigations, the CBI had submitted three reports involving the dera chief under Section 120-B in the two murder cases and also under Section 376 of the IPC on the allegations of sadhivs in 2007.
Murder of journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati and Ranjeet Singh
Murder of Ranjeet Singh
Dera men suspected that Ranjeet Singh, who was a member of the dera committee had circulated an anonymous letter of sadhvis. “Ranjeet Singh was called in the dera and he was asked to return back by dera chief, but he denied the offer on June 16, 2002. The CBI further said in its chargesheet that on the same evening, the dera chief who was quite angry with Ranjeet Singh, ordered his confidant to eliminate Ranjeet Singh before he revealed anything further against the dera. Later Ranjeet Singh was shot dead by the four youths while he was working in his fields at around 5 p.m. on July 10, 2002.
Jouranlist Chhatrapati murder case
Chhatrapati had started receiving threat calls from the dera men after the news-report of Sadhvi’s letter was published in his evening newspaper Pura Sach. Even some dera followers had visited his newspaper office and threatened him with dire consequences. He was shot at outside his house by the two dera men on October 24, 2002. Chattrapati’s son, Anshul Chattrapati, and his cousin Mukesh Kamboj, in their statements recorded by the CBI recently, had accused the dera chief of the murder of Chhatrapati, revealed the CBI investigation in the case.
While talking to the Correspondent late journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati’s son Anshul Chhattarpati said that we have been struggling for 15 years and we have gone through many ups and down during this period. My father murder case is still pending. We are hopeful about tomorrows verdict. “ I have also taken up matter with the senior police officials to enhance our security in view of tomorrow’s verdict” he added. He said that Law must be same for all. Only thing we expect that government should not extend any special favours to anyone whosoever it may be. We are looking seriously tomorrow’s verdict, he added.
On the other hand the dera spokesperson have denied the allegations of rape and murder leveled against the dera chief terming it conspiracy against the dera chieif. Even Dera chief had told Panchkula court that he was not fit to indulge in physical relationships.
Why this VVIP treatment to dera chief by Haryana government. After he was convicted in rape case by the CBI special judge, Panchkula, he was airlifted to Rohtak.