After a special CBI court in Panchkula convicted Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a rape case on Friday, the focus how shifts to two murder cases against him allegedly linked to rape and “wrongdoings” inside the Dera.
The cases of murder of journalist Ram Chandra Chhatrapati and Dera functionary Ranjit Singh will come up for hearing in the special CBI court next month. Chattrapati, who was the editor of Sirsa-based evening newspaper Poora Sacha, was shot at allegedly by Dera followers in October 2002 and died in a hospital a month later.
It was alleged that Chattrapati was murdered for publishing stories on the “wrongdoings” inside the Dera, including one on the rape allegations against the Dera chief and the anonymous letter by a sadhvi accusing him of rape. In January 2003, the family of Chattrapati approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court for a CBI inquiry into the murder.
Ranjit Singh is also suspected to have been murdered for exposing “wrongdoings” and “sexual exploitation of sadhvis” in the Dera. He was killed on July 10, 2002. In 2015, the CBI registered another case against the Dera chief for “forced castration” of as many as 400 devotees.