Rapist Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's trial in 2 murder cases begins today

Frederick Owens
September 17, 2017

Singh, now lodged at Sunaria jail in the northern state of Haryana's Rohtak district, is attending the hearing through video-conferencing as he has not been brought to the court amid fears of unrest by his followers, officials said.

Ram Rahim is an accused in two murder cases, one of former Dera chief Ranjit Singh and another of journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati.

In the meantime, the police have also launched a manhunt for Honeypreet Singh Insan, the "adopted" daughter of Gurmeet Ram Rahim. Ranjit Singh, who was believed to be privy to a number of wrong things going on inside the sect headquarters, was shot dead in July 2003.

Khatta Singh was present for Saturday's hearing of the two murder cases and emerged from the court complex to furnish juicy information to the waiting media crews. Khatta Singh had recorded his statement before the magistrate in 2007 before retracting it in 2012. They have been booked under the relevant sections of the IPC, including the sedition charge, said Singh.

Defence counsel S K Garg Narwana told reporters outside the court that "Ram Rahim Singh appeared through video-conferencing from Sunaria jail".

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Since the case is very critical keeping n mind thousands of supporters of the Dera Chief he was not physically brought for the trial held in the special CBI court in Panchkula.

The CBI court has fixed the next date of hearing on his application for September 22, where it will take decision whether to record his statement again or not.

Ahead of hearing in two murder cases, the security in Panchkula has been tightened to avoid violence in the area. The case, filed in 2002, accuses Ram Rahim of sexually exploiting two women followers at his ashram; he has denied any wrongdoing. Isolated incidents of violence were also reported from Delhi and several other places in Punjab.

15 years ago, Ram Rahim's Sharp Shooters had killed Ramchandra Chattrapati's shootout on November 21, 2002.

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