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CBI reports to HC on dera chief
‘Concrete’ evidence in rape and murder cases
Vishal Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 1
Following five years of dillydallying, the final report by the CBI was today placed in a sealed cover before a division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The agency has levelled charges against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in all three cases handed over to it by the the High Court.

According to CBI sources, the report contains “concrete” evidence against the Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh, who has been named as an accused in all the three cases of sexual harassment, murder of journalist Chattrapati and Ranjit Singh’s murder.

The sources revealed the evidence was particularly harsh in the Ranjit Singh murder case wherein a driver of the dera, Khatta Singh, had made a statement accusing the dera of masterminding the murder.

Ranjit Singh was shot dead allegedly by his former dera colleagues as he was suspected of leaking an anonymous letter written to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and other authorities in which he alleged that the baba had raped his sister, a sadhvi.

As many as seven persons were arrested following the murder, including dera pradhan Kishan Lal, dera manager Inder Sain, constable Sabdil Singh, and Jasbir Singh.

According to the sources, the report makes a mention of forensic evidence that suggests Kishan Lal’s revolver was used in murdering Ranjit Singh. Moreover, 10 witnesses too have given statements before a magistrate blaming the dera for perpetuating the murder.

Importantly, Ranjit Singh’s sister had alleged that the baba raped her and several other sadhvis. Another highly inflammable evidence is the medical record of sadhvis, which allegedly proved that they had undergone abortions.

Meanwhile, the division Bench comprising Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice Ajai Lamba, disposed of the main petition after the CBI counsel placed the final report before them.

Addressing mediapersons, CBI counsel Rajan Gupta confirmed that charges had been levelled against the dera chief in three cases and the trial in these cases would continue before the Special CBI Judge R.N. Bharati in Ambala. Ten other dera functionaries and followers have been named in the two murder cases.

The division Bench comprising Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice H.S. Bhalla had castigated the CBI in April this year for laxity and observed that the bureau director should assign the job to suitably competent and sincere officers.

It all started in 2002 when the High Court took cognisance of a complaint regarding the alleged sexual exploitation of girls at the Dera Sacha Sauda, Sirsa, and ordered the CBI on September 24, 2002, to investigate the matter and submit its report with in six months.

In the meantime, FIR No. 685 was lodged in a police station in Sirsa alleging firing at journalist Ram Chander Chhatarpati by the people of the dera. Chhatarpati died on November 22, 2002.

A petition was filed before the High Court alleging that the investigation was not fair. Another FIR was lodged at Sadar police station, Thanesar, alleging murder of one Ranjit Singh at the instance of the head of Dera Sacha Sauda.

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