January 8, 2019 9:03:56 pm
A special CBI court in Panchkula on Tuesday accepted the Haryana government’s plea and allowed the presence of jailed Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh through video conferencing for a January 11 hearing in the murder case of a journalist.
The 51-year-old sect head is currently serving a 20-year prison term in Rohtak’s Sunaria jail for raping two of his women followers. Gurmeet Ram Rahim will now appear through video conferencing for the hearing in journalist Ramchandra Chhatrapati’s murder case on Friday when the court is likely to pronounce its verdict. He has been named as the main conspirator in the case which dates back to 2002.
“Keeping in view the law and order situation that may emerge, Haryana government had filed an application before the court that Gurmeet Ram Rahim not be asked to remain present personally on January 11 and instead be allowed to appear through video conferencing,” a senior counsel representing the state told reporters.
The Haryana police had submitted that over 40 persons were killed and scores were injured in the violence that followed the sect head’s conviction in the rape case in August 2017. The state’s plea followed the special CBI court’s recent direction to Sunaria jail superintendent to ensure Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s presence on Friday.
After arguments on the application, the court granted the request, the state counsel said. CBI counsel HP S Verma said the investigating agency did not oppose the state’s plea.
Chhatrapati was shot at in October 2002 after his newspaper, ‘Poora Sach’, published an anonymous letter narrating how women were being sexually exploited by Gurmeet Ram Rahim at the Dera headquarters in Sirsa. The journalist later succumbed to injuries and a case was registered in 2003. The case was handed over to the CBI in 2006.
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